The Bill passed on 24 March and became law in New Zealand upon receiving Royal Assent on 30 March. We last posted a blog about this on 24 September 2020.
MP Ginny Anderson, acknowledged that many employers had provided paid bereavement leave for their employees under the Act’s former provisions.
“We are fortunate enough to have many decent employers in this country who are already allowing bereavement leave to be taken in the event of miscarriage or stillbirth, but there are some who are not. There are some who are making employees use up their sick leave at a time when they are dealing with extreme loss, and that is callous and that is wrong, because the grief that comes with miscarriage is not a sickness; it is a loss, and that loss takes time.
The passing of this bill shows that once again New Zealand is leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation, becoming only the second country in the world to provide leave for miscarriage and stillbirth.”
There is likely no need for employers to amend existing agreements with employees because the Act’s new provisions will apply regardless. However, employers may need to update the bereavement leave clause(s) in their employment agreements for new employees.
If you have any questions about this amendment, or require any help updating your employment agreement templates or policies, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
By Anneke Reid