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GSD files motion urging law for paid miscarriage leave

GSD Headquarters. Photo by Eyleen Gomez.

Elliott Phillips, the GSD’s Shadow Minister for Health, will move a motion in the Gibraltar Parliament urging the Gibraltar Government to legislate to provide paid leave for parents grieving the loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks.

Gibraltar law does not currently provide for that, although it allows for legal entitlement to two weeks paid leave for working parents in respect to the loss of a child of any age or those who suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

“The loss of a pregnancy at any point is a tragic event in the lives of any family and whilst many employers within community recognise that parents need the time and space to process their loss, the law must provide support for parents and provide the right to paid miscarriage leave,” Mr Phillips said.

“It is very much hoped that the Government, the Parliament and our community can come together and support my motion to the House.”

In the motion, Mr Phillips notes the introduction of “ground breaking” legislation in New Zealand to provide workers with three days’ paid leave in the event of a miscarriage.

The motion notes too that a Bill for the provision of miscarriage leave has been presented in the UK Parliament by Angela Crawley, the Scottish National Party MP for Lanark and Hamilton East.

The motion says the loss of a baby by miscarriage is a devastating experience for families and that for some, it is “tragically not a singular event”.

“Whilst employers and organisations in Gibraltar are sensitive to the grief and loss associated with miscarriage and may have made provision in the context of their employment policies and practices, it is important that support by way of paid leave be enshrined in Gibraltar law for those persons who have suffered the devastating loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks,” the motion states.

It calls on the Government to legislate, either through new laws or by amending existing legislation, to provide paid leave for people who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or molar pregnancy.

Alternatively, it urges the government to make the change through secondary legislation under existing secondary powers available to ministers.

The motion has been tabled in Parliament but has yet to be debated.

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