Abortion within 180 days and leave.

by Claudia Ravaldi

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

On the occasion of the month of awareness on pregnancy loss and after birth, we want to bring to everyone’s attention a theme that creates great suffering every year for thousands of working women who, following the interruption of their pregnancy, cannot count on any leave. from work.
In this short interview, Dr. Camilla Fasciolo, a lawyer, clarifies what are the rights in the event of abortion and perinatal death to date in our country.
Leave: who is entitled?
“The Consolidated Law on the subject (Legislative Decree 151/2001) considers the termination of pregnancy, whether spontaneous or voluntary , to all intents and purposes a disease .”
Leave and mothers
“If the abortion occurs before 180 days of gestation, you will only be entitled to sick leave (and related allowance).” (The duration of this leave varies between 7 and 14 days and is managed with your general practitioner)
If, on the other hand, it occurs after 180 days from the beginning of the gestation, the Consolidated Law recognizes the three-month leave, with the relative indemnity.
For freelancers or self-employed workers, it is expected with the same requirements if registered with INPS, while if registered with private funds it depends on the individual body (for example, one already provides for it from the third month, another only if it occurs between the third and sixth month).
Leave and fathers
“Since March 2021, fathers have also been granted a ten-day leave, always and only if the interruption occurs after the 180th day.”
In conclusion
“Even today, in the year 2021, there is no specific form of compensation for those who find themselves losing or terminating a pregnancy.”
In thanking the lawyer Fasciolo for answering our questions, I add a reflection of mine as a mental health professional and human rights activist: we know well that in other more advanced countries the law recognizes a form of leave starting from the twentieth week (and not, as in Italy, from 25 plus 5).
We also know that many working mothers engaged in childcare services and perinatal care do not receive any kind of support, linked to the particularity of their work (I am thinking for example of nursery school teachers, primary school teachers, midwives, neonatologists, pediatricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, psychomotor therapists, etc.).
Over the years we have received numerous testimonies from women forced to return to work immediately “because basically nothing that happened to you “or others that to stay at home for a couple of weeks more had the only option of receiving the diagnosis of reactive depression.
Mourning after an abortion is not a reactive depression, but our state unfortunately does not recognize it for what it is in reality: a traumatic event that affects the body and mind and needs time to be faced and allow those who suffer it. to go back to a similar routine as before the loss.
For two legislatures, before the pandemic, we proposed extending at least one month of leave starting from the twentieth week: this would allow the first month to pass, the one in which the body is convalescing, without forcing or external pressure. Unfortunately, coverage was never found.
I hope that in the near future our country will also lower the definition of stillbirth to at least 22 weeks, as recommended by the WHO, thus guaranteeing approximately 1000 more women each year the corresponding allowance.
With this step done, I hope there is room left to extend coverage to at least the twentieth week.
The first 40 days after bereavement are very heavy from a psycho-physical point of view.
Protecting women in those 40 days would allow them to reduce the risk of medium and long-term complications, especially of the anxious and depressive type, with a considerable saving in terms of working days lost in the future.

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