The NSW government has announced funding in its 2021-22 budget for a five day paid leave provision for public sector employees who have experienced a miscarriage or pre-term birth.
From July 1 all government workers (including eligible full-time and part-time, ongoing, and temporary employees) can access the five-day paid leave arrangement should they or their partner suffer a miscarriage up to 20 weeks’ gestation.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet outlined the special leave conditions during a media blitz on Tuesday, the day he unveiled the state’s budget. He said this move showed that the government wanted to introduce measures that supported public sector employees and expanded existing leave entitlements that covered the early stages of pregnancy.
“[The new policy] cements the NSW government as an employer of choice, with these provisions providing a more generous benefit than is available to public sector employees in many other jurisdictions,” 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.”
The treasurer said it was incumbent on the government to lead the way in offering support to employees during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
“We know that losing a child even in the early stages of pregnancy can be devastating, so [these measures allow] government sector employees to take five days paid special leave if this occurs,” Perrottet added.
Government employees who experience pre-term births (at 37 weeks) will also be eligible for the new special leave provisions from the date of the child’s birth up until the date that the child was expected to be born.
Minister for women Bronnie Taylor said that while babies were cause for celebration, sometimes their early entry into the world came with ‘unexpected consequences’ for mums and dads.
“It will be provided in addition to the paid parental leave that is available to employees whose baby is born after 37 weeks, ensuring families with pre-term babies have the time and resources they need for the best possible start to life,” she said.