Why paid parental leave should be available to fathers

The Herald reports:

A Christchurch father whose partner died after childbirth has been left struggling to get due to a gap in legislation.

The man’s partner was due to be a stay-at-home mum, and didn’t have a job in the 12 months leading up to the expected date of delivery so she wasn’t entitled to paid parental leave payments, according to the Ministry for Business, Employment and Innovation.

The baby was born at 33 weeks by C-section after the mother’s heart stopped as she arrived at hospital.

“She was having difficulty breathing, so an ambulance was called,” the man said.


“Just as she arrived at the hospital her heart stopped and staff gave her CPR before making the decision to do an emergency C-section.”

After the C-section she started breathing again but then her heart stopped again and she had severe bleeding.

She was taken to surgery but died an hour later.

She had health issues in the past, including diabetes, but nothing of any large concern, her partner said.

The now solo father was currently off-work and being paid by his company, which had been supporting him after his partner’s death.

But that was unsustainable.

“I work full time for a great company who are helping me through this but that can’t go on. So I thought paid parental leave.”

A terrible tragedy, made worse by the inflexibility of the law.

UPDATE: The Government has intervened, which is good.

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