All workers deserve bereavement leave following miscarriages and stillbirths

The Public Service Association strongly supports Labour MP Ginny Andersen’s bill to give three days paid leave to parents who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Many PSA members already have this provision in their collective agreements, and the union wants this written into law for everyone.

“It’s hard to think of a more traumatic experience than losing a child, and I think New Zealanders might be horrified if they knew how some employers treat staff while the pain is still fresh.” says PSA National Secretary Kerry Davies.

“We’ve seen an employer tell a woman who suffered a late term miscarriage that she wasn’t eligible for bereavement leave, and that if they gave it to her they would have to give it to everyone. Well, we think it’s time they have to.”

By contrast, many employers in the public sector have worked with the PSA at the bargaining table to formulate and introduce bereavement leave clauses for these situations.

The Ministry for the Environment, Crown Law, Ministry of Education and Christchurch City Council have all introduced this into their collective agreements with PSA members.

“When an employer provides paid leave to someone in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy, it makes things a little bit easier and helps them get back on their feet,” says Ms Davies.

“By extending this support to all New Zealanders, the government is helping us build a more caring society where everyone can feel valued and respected even at their lowest point.”

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