Free PPAW Training for SMEs in Birmingham & Greater Manchester

Businesses are being urged to participate in a movement to transform pregnancy support in the workplace.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greater Manchester and Birmingham have the opportunity to join a new learning platform by Tommy’s – the UK’s largest pregnancy and baby loss charity. Pregnancy and Parenting at Work (PPAW) is offered at no cost, and aims to improve the treatment of employees experiencing pregnancy, fertility issues, or the loss of a baby during pregnancy.


Tommy's elearning content example on tablet device


Research reveals that one in four pregnancies in the UK result in loss due to miscarriage or other complications. Unfortunately, findings from both Tommy’s research and a survey by the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) indicate that many employers lack the knowledge to manage these delicate situations effectively, impacting both employees and staff retention.

A 2021 survey highlighted that 52% of working parents would consider leaving their job due to insufficient support from their employers. However, those who felt supported tended to demonstrate greater loyalty and commitment to their employer. Although 69% of employees believed their managers were willing to support them, only one in three felt their managers were actually equipped to do so.


Employee Mental Health & Wellbeing

The issue of fertility is also significant, with one in seven couples in the UK facing difficulties conceiving. This situation can severely affect their wellbeing and mental health. A 2023 CIPD report disclosed that less than 20% of these employees felt adequately supported at work during their fertility challenges.


Used by Major Brands

Over the past two years, large companies including Santander, BUPA, Virgin Group entities, several NHS trusts, and South Staffordshire College have adopted the Tommy’s PPAW.

eLearning portal for employee health and wellbeing

In 2023, Tommy’s was granted government funding to extend its corporate training and resource package created alongside elearning company Day One Technologies, to smaller businesses in Greater Manchester and Birmingham at no cost until March 2025.

Thanks to the grant from the Department for Health and Social Care’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Health and Wellbeing Fund, Tommy’s can now offer this service to SMEs (typically organisations of under around 250 staff) in Birmingham and Greater Manchester free of charge.


Already Benefiting SMEs

Forward Carers, a Birmingham-based support service for carers, has recently subscribed to the Tommy’s PPAW service for SMEs.

The non-profit organisation’s programme manager Anna Smith said:

“At Forward Carers, we know that life doesn’t stop the moment you walk through the office door. The things that happen in our personal lives influence our work, and vice versa. So, we believe in creating a culture and providing tools that empower staff to successfully manage life and work.”

“Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training is a natural extension of our commitment to training managers and empowering staff to navigate the highs, and sometimes lows, that can affect any of our lives. We are delighted that we are one of Tommy’s first members to sign up to their free Pregnancy and Parenting at Work training.”

By enrolling in the Tommy’s PPAW programme, employers can enhance their support for employees at any stage of family growth, from fertility and pregnancy through to new parenting, complications, and baby loss. The scheme, initially available in Birmingham and Manchester, may later be extended nationwide, potentially benefiting around 15,000 individuals with more flexible and compassionate workplace environments, while also providing long-term benefits for employers.


Sign Up for Free

The Pregnancy and Parenting at Work initiative for SMEs launched on Tuesday, 19 September 2023 and is proving highly beneficial to both local employers and their employees.

To make use of this free training, organisations in Greater Manchester and Birmingham are invited to register here using the codes MANTOM (Manchester) or BIRMTOM (Birmingham).

Registration is supported by the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund.

Businesses are also encouraged to seek accreditation as a Tommy’s Pregnancy and Parenting Champion, demonstrating a firm commitment to positive change.