It can be difficult thinking about practicalities and finances when your baby has died and everything is so raw. However, it’s useful to find out what support you’re entitled to because it could offer you some breathing space and allow you some more quiet time to grieve before returning to work.
The hospital or community midwife should have given you a booklet called ‘Late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death – A guide to the financial help available’, by the Money Advice Service. This breaks down all the information here in more detail.
For parents who lost a baby before 24 weeks
For legal purposes, this is known as a late miscarriage and mums don’t qualify for Maternity Pay. This might feel very unfair if you lost a baby very close to 24 weeks but it is the current situation.
However, you will be entitled to Sick Leave, immediately after the miscarriage. You may need a Fit Note (previously called a Sick Note) from your GP.
If you’ve had a late miscarriage, you should be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, paid for up to 28 weeks (depending on your employment contract).
In some circumstances, your employer may give you Compassionate Leave and Time Off for Dependants.(TOFD). You are legally entitled to TOFD in certain circumstances, but your entitlement to Compassionate Leave depends on your contract of employment and your employer’s policy.
Dads, or a mum’s female partner (who has the same rights as a father), may be entitled to Sick Leave and Sick Pay, Compassionate Leave or Time Off for Dependants. You’ll need to look at your contract and contact your employer about this.
For parents who lost a baby after 24 weeks, or if the baby was born alive at any stage of pregnancy and then died
- Mothers are entitled to 52 weeks’ Maternity Leave
- If you gave birth before your Maternity Leave started, your leave starts the day after you gave birth.
- You may be entitled to Maternity Pay from your employer, Maternity Allowance, or income-related benefits from the state.
Dads, or partners, may be entitled one or two consecutive weeks’ Paternity Leave from your employer. Sick Leave and Sick Pay, Compassionate Leave or Time Off for Dependants. You will need to look at your contract and contact your employer.
You’ll find more information and advice on rights and benefits. Here’s our list of helpful organisations:
Money Advice Service
Your local Job Centre or JobCentre Plus (in Northern Ireland: Jobs and Benefits Office,
or Social Security Office) can offer information and advice.
Ways to help, support and understand your partner after a stillbirth
Information and advice on supporting children when their sibling has been stillborn
Seeing your son or daughter coping with their baby’s death is very difficult and painful. This page is support for grandparents coping after with the stillbirth of their grandchild.
Going back to work after losing a baby can be a welcome return to routine for some, and a terrifying prospect for others. Take time to work out what’s best for you.
Pregnancy after a loss often brings mixed emotions and can be a very anxious time.
Spending time now with your stillborn baby could help you cope with the grief later.
Information about postnatal care and appointments for mothers following a stillbirth
Information and support for mums on giving birth to a stillborn baby
How to support parents at work whose baby was stillborn
How to support parents who have suffered a stillbirth, advice for family, friends and colleagues
Information on how to cope with the physical effects of having a stillborn baby
If you lose your baby after 24 weeks, their body must be buried or cremated by law. Whether or not you hold a service before the burial or cremation is your decision.
ℹLast reviewed on September 8th, 2017. Next review date September 8th, 2020.