New Zealand gives parents three days of paid leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth in the world’s first
New Zealand gives parents three days of paid leave after miscarriage or stillbirth under world’s first law protecting grieving couples from sick leave
- NZ is the first country to give paid time off to parents who have miscarried
- The change means that parents do not have to use up their sick leave to grieve
- Parents have access to up to three days of paid leave after a miscarriage
Working mothers and their partners are allowed to take paid time off after miscarriage or stillbirth in New Zealand following a unanimous vote by lawmakers, in what is considered one of the first facilities of its kind in the world.
The death benefit, passed by parliament late Wednesday, gives workers three days of leave when a pregnancy ends in a stillbirth, rather than forcing them to use their sick leave.
Lawmaker Ginny Andersen said a stillbirth should be recognized with special bereavement leave, but the stigma surrounding the issue meant that many people were reluctant to talk about it.
Jacinta Ardern has made New Zealand the first country to give parents paid leave after miscarriage or stillbirth
“The grief that accompanies miscarriage is not a disease; it’s a loss, and that loss takes time – time to recover physically and time to recover mentally, ”she told parliament.
Ms. Andersen said the leave applies to a woman’s partner if she miscarries, as well as people who tried to have a child through surrogacy.
She said the law continues the role of the New Zealand Parliament in pioneering women’s rights, particularly in the areas of voting rights and equal pay.
I can only hope that while we are among the first, we will not be among the last, and that other countries will also start legislating for a compassionate and fair leave system that recognizes the pain and sorrow of miscarriage and stillbirth, ‘she said.
Greens MP Jan Logie said the change would help end the silence women experience after a miscarriage.
“That silence that has done so much damage has begun in part to get through this debate and through the attention of parliament,” she said.
Parents are entitled to up to three days of paid leave after a miscarriage, meaning they cannot access their sick leave
She kept saying it was a normal event with about 20,000 women miscarrying or stillbirth every year.
“It’s an incredibly normal experience, but normal doesn’t mean easy; it does not mean without pain. But for a long time, through silence and stigma, we’ve forced women – especially women – to just pretend it didn’t happen. ‘
In Australia, parents who lose a baby through miscarriage after 12 weeks are entitled to unpaid leave.
British parents are eligible for paid leave if they have a stillbirth after 24 weeks, but not if it happens before the end of the 24th week.
Couples who lose a child to an abortion are not eligible for paid time off, despite abortion decriminalizing in New Zealand last year.
Member of Parliament Erica Stanford expressed support for the bill, but questioned the lack of support for women undergoing abortions.
“The grief and suffering and trauma that I experience during an abortion and the fact that it is not included in this bill make me uncomfortable – personally uncomfortable.” She said.