A widower, with a premature baby, who was unable to receive paid parental leave after his wife died in childbirth will be compensated by the Government.

The baby was born at 33 weeks by C-section after the mother’s heart stopped as she arrived at hospital. 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 sadly died an hour later. She had planned 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, according to the Ministry for Business, Employment and Innovation.

The father, who was also looking after his partner’s two kids from a previous relationship, was being supported by his work. But that was not a sustainable option and he wanted to get access to paid parental leave.

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said today the Christchurch-based father would receive an ex gratia payment of the equivalent amount to the paid leave he had missed out on. An ex gratia payment is a one-off, no obligation grant. The father was unable to claim paid parental leave because his partner had not worked for 12 months before delivering the baby.

“This has exposed a gap in the legislation which is something that we will need to address,” Lees-Galloway said.

“More immediately I’m very pleased to say that we have found a solution for this particular gentleman and his family.

To read more on this story, head to this Otaho Daily Times story: www.odt.co.nz/news/national/govt-agrees-payment-widower-raising-baby