ACT government public servants will be able to access five days of compassionate leave if they experience a miscarriage if an enterprise bargaining agreement is approved in the coming months.
Opposition Leader Elizabeth Lee put forward a motion calling for the government to offer a specific leave scheme of five days for territory public sector workers who experience a miscarriage.
However, the motion was amended to recognise the government had clarified five days compassionate leave would be offered to employees and their partners if they experienced a miscarriage following the implementation of a new agreement.
The opposition had pushed for the leave to be introduced before the agreement was finalised but the agreed motion was it would be implemented once approved by the Fair Work Commission.
Donna Penny has experienced two miscarriages and had a stillborn son six years ago called Patrick. She has become an advocate in the bereavement and stillbirth prevention space.
"I really believe in the importance of recognising infant loss and it starts in our everyday interactions, it starts in our workplace recognising that baby loss is a unique type of bereavement... it needs its own recognition," Ms Penny said.
Ms Penny was unable to access leave when she had her miscarriages. She said it was a unique type of bereavement and needed its own recognition.
"I think baby loss, as I said, is a unique type of bereavement and I think it needs its own type of leave in recognition of the special circumstances," she said.
"We don't give the name personal leave to maternity leave after the birth of the live baby, we do need something specific for miscarriage and infant loss."
Ms Lee was unable to attend the debate on Wednesday as she was unwell, instead Deputy Opposition Leader Giulia Jones moved the motion.
MORE A.C.T. POLITICS NEWS:
The three parties came to an agreement. Prior to the debate, Ms Lee did express some concerns about waiting for the outcome of the enterprise agreement.
"We acknowledged that, of course, it is part of the enterprise bargaining agreement," she said.
"But we do see some risks with this. Number one, it is in the process, but it's actually not there, despite what the government is saying, as yet.
Ms Lee said it was important for the government to show leadership in this space.
"The ACT government is in a unique situation of not only being the second largest employer in the ACT, but also as the government to show leadership, it just shows certainty about the accessibility of this leave, that should be available for camera families who are going through a devastating loss," she said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: