Linktree, Blackbird and Hoyts among 50 businesses committing to improved miscarriage leave policies

Nicole Liu Kin Fertility

Kin Fertility's Nicole Liu. Source: supplied.

Linktree, Mr Yum, Blackbird and SafetyCulture are among 50 businesses that have improved their miscarriage leave policies, as part of Kin Fertility’s #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign.

The campaign encourages businesses to offer at least 10 days of paid leave for employees who suffer a miscarriage.

At the time of writing, some 50 companies have signed up, representing about 5850 employees.

Those businesses include Aussie unicorns Airwallex and SafetyCulture, as well as VC firms Square Peg and Blackbird — which is an investor in Kin’s parent company Eucalyptus.

Fast-growing startups like Linktree, Mr Yum and Vow have also updated their policies, as well as cinema operator Hoyts, which has some 2000 employees.

Many of these businesses have gone above and beyond the advised 10 days of leave.

Linktree, for example, offers 20 days of paid leave for miscarriages and pregnancy loss that occur before 20 weeks, and up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave for pregnancy loss or stillbirth after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Square Peg offers unlimited paid leave covering all bereavements, including miscarriage at any stage of the pregnancy.

Kin founder Nicole Liu tells SmartCompany the response has been “amazing”.

Kin isn’t only asking business leaders for a signature or a commitment to change. It’s asking for material changes to policies; for them to truly put their money where their mouth is.

“To see them step up and take action in such a limited time is actually incredible.”

Justin Angsuwat, chief people officer at Blackbird tells SmartCompany it is “more important than ever to make giant leaps forward with how companies support their people”.

He’s proud not only to be part of the campaign, but to help raise awareness for the issue, he adds.

“We’re excited about the role of startups as leaders in setting new standards.”

Businesses driving change

Founded in 2020, Kin is a part of wellness tech startup Eucalyptus, which in January raised $60 million.

Kin offers subscriptions on contraceptive pills and prenatal vitamins, as well as digital support around fertility, conception, pregnancy and for people who have recently given birth.

Around International Women’s Day, Liu and the team wanted to do something to celebrate women but also recognise that there are still serious inequity issues around reproductive health, she says.

Last year, the federal government introduced legislation allowing for two days of paid leave in the case of miscarriage.

That was “actually an amazing step in the right direction,” Liu notes.

“It went a long way to acknowledging that miscarriage wasn’t a sickness, it was like an actual loss.”

However, the Kin team wanted to take that momentum to drive further change, ensuring that women have the space to recover, while normalising conversations around pregnancy loss.

This work starts in the workplace, she says. Businesses can lead the way here, ultimately driving further legislative change.

The idea is to show how many businesses believe the bar should be raised, she adds.

“The first step is to show traction and show support around this, and to show that it actually contributes to society and has a positive impact,” Liu explains.

Read more and sign up to the #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign here.

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