New Zealand considers miscarriage leave
A bill legislating three days’ paid bereavement leave for women and their partners after a miscarriage will be considered by New Zealand’s parliament reports The Guardian.
At present, New Zealanders are entitled to bereavement leave after the loss of a family member or child but that does not include the loss of a child, who is not born alive.
The ministry of health describes miscarriages as “fairly common” and says one or two out of every 10 pregnant women will miscarry a baby.
“The lack of clarity has meant some women have been in the position of having to argue with their employer about whether they are entitled to leave because they have lost their unborn child,” said Labour MP Ginny Andersen, who sponsored the bill.
Iain Lees-Galloway, the New Zealand minister for workplace relations and safety, said he would support the bill.
“A miscarriage is a terrible time for parents and this bill provides certainty for parents and employers around the definition of a miscarriage so that parents can grieve and spend time to work through the personal toll of a miscarriage,” he said.
Andersen said she expected cross-party support from other parties like NZ First and the Greens for her bill. She said she had also had positive responses from a number of opposition National MPs.
“A lot of people are saying this is a very sensible idea, and we want to take the politics out of this one and have the whole house support it.”
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