UKSA partners with Tommy’s to support spa staff through pregnancy issues and baby loss

The partnership will see spas offered free access to Tommy’s Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training


By Wendy Golledge

20 November 2023

The UK Spa Association (UKSA) has announced a new partnership with national pregnancy charity, Tommy’s.

The collaboration will offer spa businesses free access to Tommy’s expert-led e-training and resource programme, Pregnancy and Parenting at Work.

It is the only support offering that covers the entire pregnancy spectrum, including pregnancy and return to work, baby loss and fertility in the workplace.

Spa teams taking part in Tommy’s Pregnancy and Parenting at Work will focus on improving communication skills so they can provide the right support for colleagues, whatever their pregnancy journey.

Pregnant woman sat at desk looking at computer
Tommy's Pregnancy and Parenting at Work aims to support spa team members through difficult situations

Workplace support for pregnancy in spas

Each year in the UK, there are around one million pregnancies. Tommy’s research shows up to one in three employees will be planning a pregnancy in the coming years, but figures suggest up to a quarter of those will lose a baby during pregnancy or birth.

Miscarriage is the most common type of loss and employees often feel unable to talk about their experience in the workplace.

The strategic partnership between UKSA and Tommy’s aims to equip spa operators with the tools they need to support any colleague experiencing pregnancy or fertility issues, or baby loss.

“Tommy’s Pregnancy and Parenting at Work programme trains managers to offer staff going through a fertility journey, pregnancy or baby loss the right support. Knowing how many of the businesses in our sector are female led, this collaboration felt like a no brainer to me.

Yvonne Ebdon

General manager, UKSA

Speaking exclusively to European Spa, Yvonne Ebdon, general manager of UKSA, said: “I have been through my own experiences of baby loss. Following three losses in four years, one of which was a stillbirth, I understand the lack of support available within workplaces.

“One of the amazing things about this is that employees can also complete an online form anonymously.

“This will allow Tommy’s to get in touch with the HR team to discuss the training and how it could be a fit for their business.”

What’s included in Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training 

Any spa business with up to 250 employees has free access to the training. Larger organisations that are members of UKSA will get a preferential rate.

Tommy’s three e-training courses and conversation simulators cover managing pregnancy and parenting at work, including return to work, pluz supporting an employee through fertility issues, baby loss or premature birth.

The training shares a toolkit of resources and written guides with topics not commonly found elsewhere, such as adoption and surrogacy.

There is a consultation service to help spas create or review their own pregnancy and baby-loss policy.

Spas taking part also get direct phone line access to Tommy’s expert midwives for all employees and managers.

Dark haired woman smiling at camera

“While the conversation around pregnancy and baby loss is getting louder, there’s still a huge gap in knowledge and understanding. This can prevent bereaved parents from receiving the right support, especially at work."

Pollyanna Noonan

Corporate partnerships manager, Tommy’s

“There is currently no statutory right to time off work for employees who experience a miscarriage or any loss before 24 weeks of pregnancy,” said Pollyanna Noonan, corporate partnerships manager at Tommy’s.

“Investing in support through pregnancy and maternity improves employees’ wellbeing and shows that you value your team as people outside their role in your business.

“That in turn helps to encourage loyalty and retain talent.”

Tommy’s 2021 and 2022 workplace surveys revealed…

60% of people who lost a baby said their manager didn’t know how to support them


51% of people said they didn’t have the workplace support they needed


46% had experienced colleagues saying insensitive things


80% of people going through fertility treatment said they felt stressed about the impact on their work


60% of professional women will leave their organisation within a year of returning to the workplace after maternity leave


52% of working parents told Tommy’s that they would or have quit due to the lack of support on their pregnancy journey

Confident conversations around pregnancy and loss

“Many managers don’t feel confident to have conversations about pregnancy, even less about loss,” added Ebdon.

“But that communication is so important for how someone feels about their workplace.

“I’d urge all spa business owners to consider Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training. It’s a great way to open up lines of communication and let your employees know they matter.”

The partnership is one of UKSA’s new member offerings, created to provide businesses with an array of support, guidance and cost saving benefits.

UKSA is also launching partnerships with Full Power Utilities to assist members in energy and cost-saving solutions and the Hospital Medical Care Association to offer members with private medical cover, dental care, travel and breakdown support.

For more information contact Yvonne Ebdon at


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