On 1 April 2021, New Zealand extended its bereavement leave provisions to include miscarriage and still births.

The Government has made this change to acknowledge that, losing a baby is, unfortunately, quite common, and to give people time to deal with such loss away from work. This change also removes the previous ambiguity around this area under the Holidays Act 2003.

The changes entitle employees to three days’ bereavement leave if they, their spouse or partner, or any other relevant person (such as a surrogate, a person carrying an employee’s biological child or a person carrying a child an employee intends to adopt) has a pregnancy end by way of a miscarriage or still birth.

Employment agreements ordinarily outline the circumstances when an employee is entitled to take bereavement leave, so we recommend that employers review and update their employment agreements in light of this change.

If you have further questions or would like to update your employment agreements, please get in touch.