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Progress for New Zealand

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Returning Label volunteer writer Leah Langley enlightens us on New Zealand’s next success: the introduction of paid leave following a miscarriage. 

New Zealand has been in the news once more for making more progressive changes in its legislation. Since being under the leadership of Jacinda Ardern, it has not been uncommon to see New Zealand making the headlines for all the right reasons. This time, the country made the news for unanimously passing legislation that will see mothers and their partners receive paid leave following stillbirths or miscarriages.

In what is being called a huge step for women’s workplace equality, mothers and their partners will now be provided with three days of paid bereavement leave following a miscarriage or stillbirth. The bill was put forward by MP Ginny Andersen who stated that it would allow for them to “come to terms with their loss” without having to take time from their sick leave. The legislation has been expanded to include those who are having a child through adoption or surrogacy too, with Andersen stating that New Zealand is “leading the way for progressive and compassionate legislation.” New Zealand is only the second country in the world to bring in such a bill after India who introduced their version of the bill back in 1961.

The introduction of this bill is just one of the many positive reasons that have seen New Zealand enter the breaking news headlines since being under Ardern’s leadership. Over the last year, the country has received global recognition for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern undertook daily televised briefings along with Facebook Lives to keep the public up to date with developments and has lead the country back to normality. Ardern also led the government to pass the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill which will see the country reduce their net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. There have also been landmark achievements when addressing pay inequity for women and period poverty across the country. In July 2020 the Equal Pay Amendment Bill was passed, which made it easier for employees to initiate pay equity claims. Schools across the country have also seen the introduction of the free provision of period products, which has been expanded to all state and state-integrated schools this year.

The eyes of the world are often on New Zealand to see what successes it will have next, and it’s safe to assume that the country will continue to appear in the headlines for many months to come with yet more landmark achievements.

Edited by Izzie Naish – News Editor

Header designed by Annabel Smith – Deputy Head of Design

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Label News Editor 2020-21

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