In light of recent legislation out of New Zealand that allows couples who go through a miscarriage or stillbirth to have three days of paid leave, a majority of Canadians have expressed that a similar bereavement legislation should be in place.
New Zealand is only the second country in the world to pass a bill of this type — in India, women are entitled to six weeks’ paid leave after a miscarriage.
The poll from Research.co, which was conducted between May 17th to May 19th, found that 78% of Canadians support enacting similar legislation in Canada, while only 10% are opposed and 13% are undecided.
Roughly 1,000 adult Canadians took part in the poll.
A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks of gestation. While Canada has given options for those who have experienced a miscarriage, there is currently no legislation in place to support it.
In Canada, women whose pregnancy ends before week 20 are entitled to receive sickness benefits under the employment insurance (EI) program and maternity benefits if their pregnancy ends in week 20 or later.
The poll reported that 13% of Canadians have experienced a miscarriage or had a partner that experienced one, and in addition, about one-in-five say they know a family member (19%) or a friend (18%) who went through this complication.
Canadians who have experienced miscarriage and/or stillbirth have received a majority of their support from family (70%) and friends (66%).
Unfortunately, support from their family doctor or general practitioner (58%) and their workplace (41%) is much lower.
Three-in-ten Canadians who experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth stated that their was not enough information or support from their family doctor, and even less, one-in-four, felt the same way about their workplace.
If you have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth and need support, call the BC Bereavement Helpline at 604-738-9950.