Glasgow council could give paid leave to staff who have an abortion

Women recovering from an abortion or endemetriosis could benefit from paid leave as Glasgow City Council looks to lead the way on equality.

<p>Staff who have abortions could get paid leave. </p>

Staff who have abortions could get paid leave.

Council bosses are looking to start a conversation about introducing a policy, similar to the pregnancy loss pledge, to overcome the stigma and taboo surrounding these issues as well as the menopause.

It comes as Glasgow signed up to the Miscarriage Association’s workplace pledge which allows council employees who experience a miscarriage before 24 weeks paid bereavement leave.

During the well-being committee on Thursday afternoon, Green councillor Holly Bruce asked if another policy could be introduced to widen the support for staff.

Councillor Bruce said: “I think we should start a conversation about exploring an extension of this policy [miscarriage pledge] or another policy of itself that would include paid leave for people who have to go through an abortion.

“In addition to that, we should also be discussing the effects of the menopause and endemetriosis on the people that suffer from those conditions in the council.

“I am not for lumping in abortion leave in with this [miscarriage] policy but I think it is something we could explore as well as policies that help people who suffer from menopause and endemetriosis.”

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A council officer confirmed that the local authority was happy to do more to support its staff and had already introduced the menopause cafe. The cafe provides an opportunity for staff to come together over a cuppa to discuss the menopause allowing them to share stories, experiences and questions about their journey in a safe space.

The officer said: “We are certainly happy to look at any of these issues where we feel we can give support to the workforce.

“As I am sure you will be aware we already do quite an extensive piece of work in relation to menopause and have introduced the menopause cafe. There are certainly areas there that are worth exploring.

“I am sure we can have more research into those areas and look at how best to position those or how we link them to mechanisms we already have in place.”

Labour councillor Cecilia O’Lone informed the committee that discussions on these topics had previously taken place but conversations were needed to remove the taboo surrounding them.

Councillor O’Lone said: “I think the menopause cafe has helped by removing the taboo where people feel they can’t talk about it or anything else [stigmatised]. It is good to have these policies in place and people in the department bringing these policies forward.

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“We need to bring forward policies and we need to open up conversations that aren’t just a women only issue. It’s a fact of life that affects everyone.

“We as a council should be leading by example on how we welcome our council family.”