Australia’s NSW state to launch paid miscarriage leave
Under a new policy announced in NSW’s 2021/22 state budget, any public-sector employee, including those in full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary work, who miscarry a baby up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy can get five days of paid leave.
NSW will be the first Australian state to introduce this kind of leave for employees.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government – being the largest employer in the state – should lead the way for reform in this area, and hopes private-sector employers would also implement the same policy.
He added, “We know that losing a child even in the early stages of pregnancy can be devastating. We want NSW government employees to know the government has their back when tragedies like these occur, and that they will have time to process their loss without having to worry about financial or work-related pressures.”
Presently, to-be parents must utilise their sick or holiday leave if they need time off after experiencing a miscarriage. “This is not acceptable. Having a miscarriage is not an illness – it’s a loss that should be recognised,” Perrottet said.
In addition, a new policy will provide leave for mothers who give birth to premature babies, and their partners, available from the date of the early birth up to when the birth normally would have been expected. This leave is in addition to the 14 weeks of paid parental leave available to employees in the first year of their child’s life.
The new leave policies will be effective from July 1.