Bereavement leave for miscarriage or still-birth

The Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill (No 2) (Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 27 June 2019.

If the Bill is enacted as it is currently drafted, it would provide mothers and their spouse/partner with 3 days bereavement leave for the unplanned death of a foetus by way of miscarriage or still-birth. This is the same entitlement employees currently have for the death of an immediate family member.

The purpose of the Bill is to remove any ambiguity in the current wording of the Holidays Act 2003 with regards to how bereavement leave applies to miscarriages or still-births. The General Policy Statement for the Bill states:

This ambiguity may lead to disputes between employees and employers regarding entitlement to bereavement leave. In many instances, employees are forced to use sick or annual holiday leave.

The Bill is the second of its kind. The first was introduced in August 2018, however, it was withdrawn on the same day it was introduced.

The first bill was less specific in its application and entitled employees to bereavement leave for the “the unplanned end of an employee’s [or an employee’s spouse or partner’s] confirmed pregnancy by way of the death of the foetus”.

Keep an eye on our articles for updates as this Bill progresses through Parliament.

Workplace Law team

If you have any queries in respect of the above, or any other Workplace Law issues, please contact a member of Lane Neave’s Workplace Law team:

Employment: Andrew Shaw, Fiona McMillan, Gwen DrewittMaria Green,  Hannah Martin, Joseph HarropHolly StruckmanAlex Beal, Giuliana Petronelli, Abby Shieh
Immigration: Mark Williams, Rachael Mason, Daniel Kruger, Nicky Robertson, Julia StrickettKen Huang, Mary Zhou, Shi Sheng Cai (Shoosh)Sarah Kirkwood, Janeske SchutteLingbo Yu
ACC: Andrew Shaw
Health and Safety: Andrew ShawFiona McMillan

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