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Flemish government offers civil servants 2 days mourning leave after 'premature' miscarriage: “Government sets tone for society” |  Domestic

Flemish government offers civil servants 2 days mourning leave after 'premature' miscarriage: “Government sets tone for society” | Domestic

Employees of Flemish and local governments will be granted two days of bereavement leave as soon as pregnancy occurs within 24 weeks. The Flemish government decided this at the request of the Minister for Equal Opportunities and Administrative Affairs, Gwendoline Rutten. This arrangement already exists only in New Zealand. Rutten is calling on other governments and the private sector to follow his example.

In our country, on average, one out of six pregnancies ends in loss, which is a huge and painful event. Anyone who miscarries after 24 weeks of pregnancy is entitled to 10 days bereavement leave in Belgium. At that point, the fruit is officially considered viable. But if the termination of pregnancy occurs earlier, even though sadness and pain are often equal, everyone must continue to work according to the law.

New Zealand will be the first to break the 24-week limit in 2021. There both parents get three days leave which is applicable to all workers. Flanders became the second region in the world to partially follow that example. Partly, we have leave that lasts only two days and only mothers are eligible and not their partners. Currently, only employees of Flemish and local authorities, such as municipal officials and OCMWs, are eligible for this leave. Initiator Gwendoline Rutten could save nothing for the time being, her authority as Flemish minister for equal opportunities and administrative affairs limited in this matter.

I know 2 days doesn't sound like much but the government is setting the tone in society with this initiative.

Gwendolyn Rutton, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Administrative Affairs

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“I know two days doesn't seem like much, but with this initiative the government is setting the tone in society. I hope other regulatory authorities and institutions will follow suit. Pregnancy loss is always very difficult. All we can do is give people a few days to recover, be with their loved ones, make time for them.

The new measure has now been approved in principle and will come into force at the latest this summer.

Registration for star children now officially open in Gent: “It's important to make room for loss”(+)

Paternity leave is well established among fathers and co-parents (+)