New Zealand’s Parliament unanimously approves for paid leave after miscarriages or stillbirths
Parliament of New Zealand has unanimously passed legislation giving working mothers and their partners the right to paid leave after suffering a miscarriage or still birth. New Zealand has become the second country in the world to do so.
On late Wednesday, New Zealand’s parliament passed the bereavement allowance. The allowance provides the employees with 3 days leave when a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth. This helps the employees as they do not have to to use their sick leave. The provision is said to be the one of the first provisions of its type in the world.
Labour Party MP Ginny Andersen initiated the bill. She said, “The passing of this bill shows that once again New Zealand is leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation, becoming only the second country in the world to provide leave for miscarriage and stillbirth.”
She further added, “The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave. Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.”
Andersen made it clear that the leave provisions apply to mothers, their partners as well as parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy.
She underscored that one in four New Zealand women have had a miscarriage.
India is the only other country with similar legislation. The Indian women are provided with leave following a miscarriage. However, only 1% benefit from this as most Indian women’s work is informal.
Last year, abortions were decriminalized in New Zealand. The bereavement allowance does not apply to abortions.
The ruling centre-left Labour government is led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who is seen as a global champion for women.