The groundbreaking bill provides for three days of paid leave for women and men following a miscarriage or stillbirth. The leave also includes parents planning to have a child through adoption and surrogacy.
“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,” said Ginny Andersen, the Labour MP who introduced the bill, in a statement to TVNZ.
India’s maternity benefit act entitles women to six weeks of paid maternity after a miscarriage or medical termination.
Final reading of my Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Bill. This is a Bill about workers’ rights and fairness. I ho… https://t.co/tNzvbkl0ah
— Ginny Andersen (@ginnyandersen)
“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 added.
Up to 20 percent of all known pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“I hope this bill will go some way in recognising the need for time and space to deal with the unimaginable grief that comes with losing a pregnancy,” Andersen said.
The new bill has garnered worldwide praise and support online.
“I had five miscarriages and only once called out sick after, mainly because I didn’t wanna tell anyone. This will absolutely help some of that stigma,” tweeted one woman.
Another wrote, “The fact that New Zealand have signed off on paid miscarriage leave is amazing. But it also highlights the fact that we don’t have it here. We absolutely need to discuss how / when we can make that happen.”
“Mind-blowing and yet, just plain kind. Miscarriage is a silent grief that we still force/encourage ourselves to keep private. Being able to cocoon in the aftermath is a luxury most people can’t afford, or demand. New Zealand ❤️❤️,” tweeted Irish journalist Evanne Ní Chuilinn.
This legislation shouldn’t be groundbreaking—and yet it is. We’re grateful that New Zealand’s lawmakers were able to see why this leave is so necessary for so many families.
It’s time that America and the rest of the world catch up.