New Zealand Law Society - Bereavement leave for miscarriage legislation introduced

Bereavement leave for miscarriage legislation introduced

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Labour list MP Ginny Anderson has introduced the Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill (No 2).

The bill amends the Holidays Act 2003 and makes it clear that the unplanned death of a foetus constitutes grounds for bereavement leave for the mother and her partner or spouse, and that the duration of that leave should be for up to three days.

The current bereavement provisions of the Holidays Act 2003 are ambiguous in their application to miscarriage. Section 69(2)(a)(iii) entitles an employee to three days employment leave on the death of a child, but it is unclear whether the provision applies where a pregnancy ends in miscarriage or still birth.

Clause 4 of the bill amends section 69 (Bereavement leave) by inserting new subsections (c) and (d) after section 69(b), to include bereavement leave for the unplanned end of an employee’s pregnancy by way of miscarriage or still-birth. Subsection 69(d) provides for leave for a spouse or partner.

The Act would come into force the day after it receives the Royal assent.