Peter A Allard School of Law

CFLS Lecture: Legislating Emotion, Reading Grief: Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage and Stillbirth in New Zealand Law

Event Poster

In March 2021 the Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill (No 2), an Act that changes Employment Standards legislation to allow bereavement leave for people and their partners at the miscarriage of a fetus or stillbirth of a child, was passed by New Zealand’s federal parliament. This small change in law, in this small country, received huge media attention globally. Why did this act, to permit time off work to grieve, strike such a chord? The questions that the legislation and its response provokes, is read through the lenses of law and emotion literature, situated in the ways that grief has been transformed through the pandemic, and placed against other leave provisions in Canadian law. Taking up Carol Sanger’s proposition of “legislation as a mechanism of emotional influence” Professor Calder examines what this change in law helps us see about law, grief, gender, caregiving and work at this extraordinary moment.

Content warning: this talk addresses issues of pregnancy loss as well as issues of grief arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Email to register

  • Centre for Feminist Legal Studies
  • General Audience
  • Research Talks
Peter A. Allard School of Law UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Caret A month-view page from a calendar. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Contact A page from a rolodex. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Instagram An arrow exiting a rectangle. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Mail An envelope. Minus A minus sign. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Rss The logo for the Reddit social media service. Rss A symbol with radiating bars indicating an RSS feed. Search A magnifying glass. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.