Step on the road to winning rights for families

Step on the road to winning rights for families – December 2018 (PDF version)

The Senate Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education has handed down its report. You can read the report HERE.

The report comes after research and representations from the CPSU NSW/PSA, including CPSU NSW/PSA delegates Leanne and Tim Smith. A copy of our submission is HERE.

The members at Ausgrid were able to secure best practice provisions to support families experiencing miscarriage and stillbirth, and Tim and Leanne were able to present the difference that these provisions could make if they were extended to the entire workforce.

The recommendations that have arisen are extremely important in progressing how Australia should support families experiencing still birth and miscarriage in research, and education and also at work.

Amongst the recommendations that have significance for workers include:

Recommendation 1

3.75 – The committee recommends that the Australian government reviews and amends the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and provisions relating to stillbirth in the National Employment Standards (NES) to ensure that:

  • provisions for stillbirth and miscarriage are clear and consistent across all employers, and meet international best practice such as those contained in the Ausgrid Enterprise Agreement; and
  • legislative entitlements to paid parental leave are unambiguous in recognising and providing support for employees who have experienced stillbirth.

Recommendation 14

7.110 – The committee recommends that the Australian government develops and implements a best-practice, culturally appropriate public education kit that assists families, friends, employers, work colleagues and people in the wider community to understand stillbirth and to offer support to a bereaved parent or family member following a stillbirth.

We as union members must now band together and work to support campaigns that aim to get Parliament to bring in these changes to support all Australian workers’ security at work when experiencing miscarriage and stillbirth.