MLA for the Pas, Amanda Lathin recently introduced a bill into legislation that would allow parents that have had to deal with a miscarriage time to grieve.
Bill 210 states that the loss of a pregnancy is extremely hard for prospective parents and currently Manitobans experiencing a miscarriage or stillbirth need to cut into sick leave, lose pay, or potentially lost jobs due to missed work.
On April 13th this bill passed its second reading.
This would give mothers experiencing miscarriage before 20 weeks an opportunity to apply for federal employment insurance and maternity benefits.
However, the Manitoba PC government has introduced a bill that would make this leave unpaid if passed.
Full Report Below
Parents who have experienced miscarriages know that time off afterwards is important for the grieving process. That is why I introduced Bill 210: The Employment Standards Code Amendment Act (Leave for Miscarriage or Stillbirth) in the legislature, as it would legislate paid leave from work for families who have recently experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Losses of pregnancies are incredibly hard for prospective parents and can have an impact equivalent to losing any other family member.
Why then have we not provided the same leave for the loss of a pregnancy as any other form of bereavement leave? Currently, Manitobans who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth have to cut into their sick leave, lose part of their paycheck, or risk their jobs just to take time off to heal.
This forces many parents to have to choose between properly grieving their loss or putting food on the table.
It is an impossible choice for many and can lead to longer-term trauma if parents aren’t given the appropriate time to grieve and heal from their experience.
Everyone grieves differently, and it should not be up to employers to decide whether their employees deserve time off to grieve.
This bill was created out of demands from community members to have their experiences and trauma recognized, and their calls to help others going through that same trauma.
Currently in Manitoba, if a woman experiences a miscarriage, she can apply for Federal employment insurance, or maternity benefits if the pregnancy ends after 20 weeks, however, this excludes all mothers who have experienced a miscarriage before the arbitrary time of 20 weeks and excludes all non-childbearing parents.
And there is still no full-wage replacement available for mothers in Manitoba and no paid leave for their partners.
On April 13th my bill passed second reading in the legislature and is one step closer to offering this time to families who are going through this difficult time.
Now it’s up to the PCs to call the bill to committee and commit to passing it into law. However, they’ve instead introduced a bill that would make this leave unpaid. Grieving parents shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will be able to pay their bills if they take time off following the loss of a pregnancy, yet this bill forces them to take unpaid time off. That’s the wrong approach.
We have an opportunity to show progressive leadership here in Manitoba by recognizing the grief that so many families face and giving them time to heal without suffering financial hardship. We only have a few weeks left in this legislative session, but I will continue to push for paid leave.
I look forward to continuing to fight for northern families and always look forward to hearing from community members. If you have questions or concerns that you would like to speak to me about, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
You can reach my office by email at email@example.com or by phone at 1(204) 623-2034. Kinanaskomitin.