Miscarriage leave for NSW govt workers

NSW has become the first state in Australia to introduce paid leave for public sector employees after the miscarriage of a child, the government says.

Any employee – in full-time or part-time, permanent or temporary work – will be able to access five days of leave if they lose a baby up to 20 weeks old through miscarriage.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet announced the new measure in Tuesday’s 2021/22 budget, saying the state needed to lead the way for reform in this area.

Treasury officials said NSW is the first state in Australia to introduce the leave, and it is hoped employers in the private sector follow suit.

“We know that losing a child even in the early stages of pregnancy can be devastating,” Mr Perrottet said.

“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.”

Special leave for parents who have premature babies was also announced.

“A new arrival is always a cause for celebration but sometimes an early entry can have unexpected consequences,” Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said in a statement.

“This leave for mothers who give birth to a pre-term baby, and their partners, will be available from the date of the early birth up to when the birth normally would have been expected.”

The leave is in addition to paid parental leave that is available to employees whose baby is born after 37 weeks.

Both measures will come into effect on July 1.

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