New Zealand's Parliament passed on Wednesday unanimously approved a law enabling parents who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth to take three days' paid bereavement leave.
Why it matters: Ginny Andersen, the Member of Parliament from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party who drafted the bill, noted NZ "may well be the first country" to pass such legislation, with the law applicable at any time of a pregnancy, per the New York Times.
Final reading of my Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Bill. This is a Bill about workers’ rights and fairness. I hope it gives people time to grieve and promotes greater openness about miscarriage. We should not be fearful of our bodies. pic.twitter.com/dwUWINVjLm— Ginny Andersen (@ginnyandersen) March 24, 2021
- Anderson said in a Facebook post the passing of the Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage 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."
Of note: The bill includes a provision for parents looking to have a child via adoption or surrogacy.
- It doesn't apply to abortions, which was decriminalized in New Zealand last year.
The big picture: India has also passed legislation for leave following miscarriage, for women only. They're entitled to leave with wages at the rate of maternity benefit. But only 1% benefit from this as most Indian women's work is informal.
- In the United Kingdom, only women who have a stillbirth after the 24th week of pregnancy are permitted to parental leave and pay.
- In the U.S., entitlements vary by state and company. While Reddit gives workers who've had pregnancy losses 8.5 weeks' leave, some firms that allow women time off stipulate they must use "sick days or take unpaid leave," notes HuffPost.