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Early pregnancy endings and the workplace – your experience

Content warning

Please proceed with caution if this research topic may be upsetting for you. There is a list of support organisations at the end of the page if you are affected by any of these experiences.

The Open University Business School is hoping to drive changes in policy and practice by leading on a new project about early pregnancy endings and the workplace.

The project aims to ultimately improve organisational support for women who experience termination and/or miscarriage. This is by providing evidence-based guidance for line managers and HR professionals, as well as resources for women themselves.

Jo Brewis, OUBS’ Professor of People and Organisations, is one of four OU academics working alongside Associate Lecturers Prof Julie Davies and Dr Aimee Middlemiss, and Senior Research Fellow Dr Victoria Newton from the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS). They are joined by colleagues from Aston University (Dr Pam Lowe and Dr Killian Mullan) and the University of Essex (Prof Ilaria Boncori), as well as third sector organisations working on miscarriage and termination (the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) and Abortion Rights).

We are seeking to understand how women and other people who have been pregnant navigate the demands of work at the same time as experiencing termination or miscarriage (including ectopic and molar pregnancies) in pregnancy, up to 24 weeks. These are both very common experiences and yet there is little academic research in the area.

Workplace support is at an extremely early stage with examples including leave for pregnancy endings offered by local government organisations such as the City of Portland in the United States and national level miscarriage leave entitlements recently legalised in New Zealand. Termination is sometimes included in these initiatives, for example by fashion retailer ASOS, online bank Monzo and Channel 4.

Principal investigator Jo Brewis
Professor of People and Organisations, OUBS

There is an opportunity for anyone in the UK who has experienced an early pregnancy ending while in paid employment to provide your experiences.

Go to the survey

This survey will be open until Sunday 31 July 2022 and please get in touch via email with any enquiries.

The survey is open to transgender men and people who identify as gender diverse (‘women’ is shorthand to represent the majority group who experience early pregnancy endings).