Andrew Cummins works as a Senior Business Analyst at Liberty Specialty Markets.
This is his story of baby loss.
"When we found out our baby had died at eight months’ gestation, I immediately contacted my manager to inform her that I would be out of the office the next day and until further notice.
"Still being in shock, I could not give any proper thought to when or what I would need to do about returning to work, but thankfully my manager took care of that before I had time to worry about it. (As an aside, on the day that it happened, my manager was herself absent from work due to illness but she still ensured all of this happened.)
"She contacted our human resources department who said I should “take however much time I needed.” This was such a comfort in the first days and weeks, knowing that I did not need to worry about any pressure to return to work.
"My manager ensured that all of my urgent work was covered by my very supportive colleagues, and that people who needed to know were told, for example work meetings that I had scheduled.
"I could completely forget about work and not put any pressure on myself to return before I was ready. I really didn’t know how much time I would need, so took one day at a time and after a few weeks felt ready to start thinking about it.
"In total I had six weeks off work. The first two weeks were my Paternity leave and the other four weeks were compassionate leave.
"My return to work was completely my own decision and I felt it was the right time to try, on the basis that I upon returning I might find that it was too soon and I would need some more time off.
"Again, my manager was completely cognizant to this and made it very clear that I had more or less all conceivable options available to me: returning part-time, taking extended leave and working from home more frequently.
"I have been back at work for nearly four weeks now and it is very difficult some days and less so on others.
"As hard as it is, I am so thankful that my return has been made more bearable thanks to the support of my manager, my colleagues, and the general culture in the organisation that allows people the discretion to give me the leave I have had.
"I know that I might not have been so fortunate if I was working somewhere else with a less supportive manager and team."
Employers can make a vital difference to the lives of bereaved parents.
We are working with companies and organisations throughout the UK to help them support employees who have experienced baby loss. As part of our Finding the Words campaign we want to help employers put in place effective and meaningful support for staff affected by the death of a baby.
It is vitally important that companies work with Sands to help raise awareness and get people talking about baby loss. Partnering with Sands, is a great opportunity to engage your employees and customers and support the work we do to reduce the number of babies who die and support anyone affected by the death of a baby.
If you employ staff or work in an HR department at a company or organisation, we would love to hear from you.
If you are a bereaved parent, we are here to support you in a way that works for you. Please visit our support section to find out how we can help.