Labour member of Parliament Ginny Andersen authored the bill.
  • New Zealand lawmakers unanimously passed paid leave for couples who experience a miscarriage.
  • The law would require employers to provide couples with three days of paid leave.
  • New Zealand is one of three countries in the world that mandates miscarriage leave.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New Zealand lawmakers voted unanimously to pass paid leave for couples after experiencing a miscarriage on Wednesday.

Under the new law, employers will be expected to provide couples with three days of paid leave after a miscarriage. The new legislation builds on existing laws that require employers to give paid leave to couples who have experienced a stillbirth.

While some workplaces are considering the idea of paid miscarriage leave, the decision is incredibly rare at the nationwide level. The Canadian province, Ontario, requires paid leave if the miscarriage occurs 17 weeks before the baby's due date.

The decision makes New Zealand, India, and the Philippines the only countries in the world that mandate paid miscarriage leave.

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 20% of known pregnancies result in miscarriages, though the number may be higher when unknown pregnancies are accounted for. These events can be traumatic for expecting parents, resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.

In most countries, people who experience miscarriages are expected to take sick time to grieve, forcing some to return to work before they are ready.

"This is a Bill about workers' rights and fairness," Ginny Andersen, a Labour member of New Zealand's Parliament who authored the bill, tweeted. "I hope it gives people time to grieve and promotes greater openness about miscarriage. We should not be fearful of our bodies."

Receive a daily news update on your cellphone. Or get the best of our site emailed to you

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.