New Zealand grants automatic paid leave after miscarriage

New Zealand grants automatic paid leave after miscarriage

The bereavement allowance passed by New Zealand's parliament gives employees three days' leave when a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth
The bereavement allowance passed by New Zealand's parliament gives employees three days' leave when a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth

WELLINGTON - New Zealand's parliament has unanimously passed legislation giving working mothers and their partners the right to paid leave after suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth, in what is believed to be one of the first provisions of its type in the world.

The bereavement allowance, passed by parliament late Wednesday, gives employees three days' leave when a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth, rather than forcing them to use their sick leave.

Lawmaker Ginny Andersen said a stillbirth should be recognised with dedicated bereavement leave but the stigma that still surrounds the issue meant many people were reluctant to discuss it.

"The grief that comes with miscarriage is not a sickness; it is a loss, and that loss takes time -- time to recover physically and time to recover mentally," she told parliament.

Andersen said the leave extends to a woman's partner if she suffers a miscarriage, as well as to people who were attempting to have a child through surrogacy.

She said the law continued the New Zealand parliament's role in pioneering women's rights, most notably on voting rights, equal pay and decriminalising abortion.

"I can only hope that while we may be one of the first, we will not be one of the last, and that other countries will also begin to legislate for a compassionate and fair leave system that recognises the pain and the grief that comes from miscarriage and stillbirth," she said.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT

US bans China Telecom

WASHINGTON: US regulators on Tuesday terminated the authorization for China Telecom's American subsidiary to conduct business in the United States, citing "significant" national security risks.

10:45

More illegal job seekers caught on border

Border patrols arrested 79 more Myanmar job seekers who illegally crossed the border into Prachuap Khiri Khan in the Central region and Chiang Mai in the North on Tuesday.

10:25

Orkney's seaweed-eating sheep offer hopes of greener farming

NORTH RONALDSAY, United Kingdom: On a tiny island in Scotland's far-flung Orkneys, thousands of sheep spend the winter munching on seaweed, a unique diet that scientists say offers hope for reducing planet-warming methane emissions.

09:45