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New Zealand Now Will Offer Parents Bereavement Leave For Stillbirths And Miscarriages

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New Zealand Now Will Offer Parents Bereavement Leave For Stillbirths And Miscarriages

New Zealand will become the second country in the world to offer bereavement leave for parents who experience stillbirths or miscarriages.

Going through that ordeal is absolutely heartbreaking and soul crushing and there aren't many policies that allow expectant mums and dads the chance to grieve before going back to work.

But New Zealand is set to enter a very exclusive club of countries that enable men and women some time off.

Kiwi politicians have unanimously voted in favour of the bill that will offer three days of bereavement leave if they experience a stillbirth or miscarriage.

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A stillbirth is defined as the loss or death of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy, while a miscarriage the loss or death of a baby before 20 weeks.

The policy will apply to mothers, their partners, and parents who are planning on welcoming a baby via adoption or surrogacy.

The bill was brought forward by Labour MP Ginny Andersen, who tweeted about the desperate need for time off after such a traumatic experience.

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She added in a statement to TVNZ that she couldn't have achieved this monument feat without the help of fellow MPs.

"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," Andersen said.

"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."

"I'd like to acknowledge my parliamentary colleagues from across the House for their unanimous support for my bill. It is always heartening when consensus can be achieved for causes that matter.

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"I'd also like to acknowledge Kathryn van Beek, whose staunch advocacy laid the foundations for this bill. And Clare Curran for encouraging Kathryn to garner support, working closely alongside her during the initial stages of this bill.

"Most importantly, I'd like to acknowledge the one in four New Zealand women who have had a miscarriage. 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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, News

Stewart Perrie
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