The bill was introduced by the country’s MP Ginny Andersen – a member of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party – and was approved earlier this week. New Zealand is the second country to do so, after India.
“This bill makes it clear that the unplanned end of a pregnancy by miscarriage or stillbirth constitutes grounds for bereavement leave for the mother and her partner or spouse, and that the duration of the bereavement leave should be up to 3 days,” said the New Zealand Parliament.
Anderson added that the bill does not apply to abortions, reports The New York Times.
While the BBC News reports that the bill also applies to those having a child through adoption or surrogacy.
According to the publication, Anderson also stated that one in four women in New Zealand have suffered a miscarriage and she hoped the new provision would give them “time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave.”
Lawmakers have hailed this an example to other nations. Could this be something South African Parliament would consider in the near future?
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
She added, “Their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.”