By: AJ Chambers | 22 February, 2024

AJ Chambers adopts ‘George’s Law’

Why you must support the Miscarriage Leave Bill!

Did you know that a staggering 25% of UK pregnancies end in loss? Did you also know that if someone suffers a pregnancy loss before 24 weeks, it is up to their employer to decide to allow paid leave? Find out more about George’s Law.

A lawyer who lost her IVF baby just 10 days before the legal right to paid maternity leave is fighting to have the law changed. Keeley Lengthorn lost her baby boy, who she had named George, at 22 and a half weeks in March 2022. Under current UK law, she had no legal right to take any time off work.

Her question is this: why has the UK government still not made this compulsory in all workplaces Keeley talks to Stuart Whiter, Associate Portfolio Director at AJ Chambers to explain more.

Keeley Lengthorn, Partner in the family and children department at Taylor Rose MW, is spearheading a national campaign demanding statutory three days leave for those who experience the heartbreaking loss of a child before the 24th week of pregnancy.

Current legislation provides employees with maternity or paternity leave and pay if a baby is stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy, or dies shortly after birth.

Keeley, who lost three children in the space of three years, fears thousands of people will “needlessly suffer” unless new rules are introduced on statutory leave. This has meant thousands of parents across the UK are having to return to work immediately after suffering such a traumatic incident. She emphasises that miscarriage is not an illness, yet, for employment purposes, it is often categorised as ‘sick leave.’ By amending the Parental and Bereavement Act 2018, this campaign seeks to make a real difference for the one in three families likely to be impacted by miscarriage.

Mirroring New Zealand legislation

She fought this change by supporting the Miscarriage Leave Bill, drafted by SNP MP Angela Crawley. The bill was successful at the first reading but at the second reading there was not sufficient time to hear the bill and so the bill fell away at the beginning of last year, hence Keeley’s campaign to fight again by amending current legislation.

George’s Law has been supported by some MPs, but Keeley said many more are yet to offer their backing – a position she says needs to change.

Keeley, who was named Solicitor of the Year in 2022 and Kent Legal Hero in 2023 was inspired by a law in New Zealand, after discovering there’s no support for parents who lose a child early in the UK.

“I kept an eye on New Zealand legislation which has enacted a policy across New Zealand to allow all employees, both men and women, three days statutory paid leave in the event of a loss under 24 weeks,” says Keeley.

Keeley added: “The law is so archaic in this area. I didn’t know that there was this statutory gap, which means that we’re not protected. But unfortunately we’re at this point where women and men (because we can’t miss out men as well,) are having to go back to work the next day after having to go through the ordeal of having a baby born sleeping.

“There’s no protection in place to help you plan the funeral, to help you deal with the emotion, with the counselling, with the grief.

At the moment Keeley’s campaign has a huge number of charities supporting it.

Law firms must show their support

Keeley is urging as many legal firms as possible to get behind the bill, because it’s quite clear to everyone that there is this huge gap in the law that we need to fulfil. Keeley wants the legal profession to lead the way in championing this all-important change in legislation.

At AJ Chambers, we are always championing important causes and we aim to contribute to a more compassionate and supportive work environment, but we believe it is critical for all UK businesses to support this campaign and strongly urge legal firms, such as Taylor Rose MW, to take action and include ‘George’s Law’ into their HR guidelines as soon as possible.

Despite the prevalence of pregnancy loss, only 9% of organisations have policies in place addressing the issue. Added to this, a quarter of employees stated that they considered leaving their job because of their experience at work during pregnancy loss.

Workplace training for Pregnancy Loss

We also encourage all workplaces to undertake Pregnancy Loss training, where you can learn to understand how to deal with work colleagues who may have lost a child. Of course, it can be difficult to know what to do or find the right words to support them – it might be days or weeks – if ever – before they are comfortable talking about their loss.

Acknowledging their child is a crucial gesture for bereaved parents, validating their grief and giving them an opportunity to articulate what they need from colleagues and managers and when.

Keeley has collaborated with Briefed to create a FREE pregnancy loss training programme. It is only 10 or so minutes long and can be accessed by contacting Briefed here: This training has also been rolled out by Taylor Rose MW for all employees and managers to complete.

AJ Chambers adopts ‘George’s Law’ HR policy

Kelly Copeland, HR Manager explains: “We are delighted to adopt George’s Law in our company HR policies and partner with Keeley Lengthorn. As a people-first business, this policy is truly a ‘no- brainer’ and we hope all businesses will follow suit. As the first legal recruitment consultancy to champion this important cause, we are proud to raise awareness of this issue.

Andrew Hilliard, Managing Director states: “We are thrilled to embrace ‘George’s Law,’ becoming a trailblazer in the legal and accountancy recruitment industry. Led by our commitment to social responsibility, we have implemented three days of paid statutory leave and are proving workplace training to support employees facing the loss of a child before the 24th week of pregnancy. As a company dedicated to compassion and understanding, we stand with campaigner Keeley Lengthorn of Taylor Rose MW, and ‘George’s Law’ to make a meaningful impact on workplace culture and supporting the community during difficult times.”

Stuart Whiter, Associate Portfolio Director, Legal says: “I’m absolutely delighted that AJ Chambers have decided to implement this very important initiative, as the company continues to show its commitment to fostering a workplace culture of empathy and understanding. What Keeley and ‘Georges Law’ are doing, is simply incredible. We look forward to doing everything we can to support and promote this important initiative.”

Please stand with Keeley Lengthorn, Taylor Rose MW and AJ Chambers in advocating for the Miscarriage Leave Law to be changed across the UK. Show your support on social media and across your firms’ website.

Please view the links below to various articles which highlight the issue.

Taylor Rose: Keeley Lengthorn joins forces with Briefed to launch new training programme
Metro UK: Lawyer who lost baby at 22 weeks campaigns for paid miscarriage leave

George’s Law social pages:

LinkedIn FaceBook Instagram: @georgeslaw_

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