New Zealand's new miscarriage leave law lauded around the world

New Zealand's new miscarriage leave law lauded around the world
Photo credit: Getty, Twitter

New Zealand's new miscarriage bereavement leave law has been lauded around the world with people calling it "amazing" and "compassionate".

Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed legislation giving mothers and their partners three days of bereavement leave following the end of a pregnancy as a result of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Mothers, their partners, as well as parents planning to have a child through adoption or surrogacy will be able to access the leave.

Media around the world picked up on the story including BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times.

The New York Times reported the law was "putting the country in the vanguard of those providing such benefits".

"The new law, which had been in development for several years, comes amid a broader global reckoning over women at work. Women have long struggled to balance the requirements of their employers with issues like pregnancy, sometimes leading them to miss advancement and other opportunities."

They noted New Zealand was one of only a few countries around the world to offer paid bereavement leave for workers who suffer a miscarriage.

In Australia, people who miscarry after 12 weeks are only entitled to unpaid leave and in Britain, people who have a stillbirth after 24 weeks are eligible for paid leave. 

However, the United States does not require employers to provide leave.

CNN also covered the law change, touching on New Zealand's past accomplishments for women's rights.

"New Zealand -- the first self-governing country to allow women to vote, in 1893 - has passed a number of laws in recent years that have been hailed by women's rights groups, including moves to reduce the impact of period poverty," CNN reported.

"The latest move comes more than a year after the country decriminalised abortion, reversing a stance that had made it an outlier among most of the developed world."

Social media commentators also responded positively to the law.

One woman, who said had experienced a miscarriage herself, called it "amazing".

"Would have been nice in my case where my former boss scheduled an important meeting with a client for the same day as my miscarriage surgery. So I had the surgery in the morning and attended the meeting that afternoon."

Another commenter congratulated New Zealand: "What a progressive country leading with compassion for all".

Other people lamented they wished their own countries would follow suit.

"Compassion, care for people....bravo New Zealand! The US could take lessons from you," one person wrote.

"Another enlightened decision by NZ law-makers. If only their counterparts here in the UK had half as much sense & wisdom," another said.

American internet entrepreneur Dan Price tweeted: "Kudos to New Zealand".

"America is so woefully behind; we're the only nation without any paid parental leave."