13/03/2024

Assembly Agrees Support For Miscarriage Leave In NI

The Assembly has agreed to support the extension of miscarriage leave for workers in NI.

DUP Economy Spokesperson, Phillip Brett, brought an amendment to a Sinn Féin motion, which was agreed by the Assembly on Tuesday, 12 March.

Welcoming the support, the North Belfast MLA said: "Whilst this Sinn Fein motion was focused on workers' rights it did not address the important issue of leave for parents who experience a miscarriage.

"The loss of any pregnancy is a source of profound sorrow and grief. I believe that employment law should take account of this.
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"This is an area where the DUP took action previously, with Gordon Lyons as the then Economy Minister launching a consultation on the issue in October 2022.

"Working parents who experience a still birth after the 24th week of pregnancy have a statutory entitlement to two weeks' leave and pay. I believe a worker or employee who experiences a miscarriage up to the end of the 23rd week of pregnancy should have the same protections. Northern Ireland could be the first region of the United Kingdom to introduce such a measure.

"I was delighted that the House accepted our amendment today.

"It is important that we see action to build upon the foundations that were laid in this area by the previous Minister and put in place practical measures which can demonstrate compassion and support to those who experience such a loss."


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