WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s parliament has passed a law giving mothers and their partners the right to paid leave after a miscarriage or stillbirth, making it only the second country in the world to do so.
The funeral payment, which was passed unanimously in parliament late Wednesday, grants employees three days of vacation if a pregnancy ends with a stillbirth without having to be put on sick leave.
“The passage of this bill shows that New Zealand is once again leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation and is only the second country in the world to grant vacations for miscarriages and stillbirths,” said Labor MP, Ginny Andersen, who initiated the bill .
“The bill gives women and their partners time to deal with their loss without being on sick leave. Because their grief is not an illness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.”
The vacation rules apply to mothers, their partners, as well as parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy, she said.
One in four New Zealand women had a miscarriage, Andersen said in her statement.
India is the only other country with similar legislation.
New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women voting rights and was a pioneer in women’s rights issues.
The ruling center-left Labor government is led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a global advocate for women. Your government passed a historic law decriminalizing abortion last year.