Labour believes new parents deserve more time to spend with their babies and a Bill to extend paid parent leave is currently before select committee.
My Members’ Bill, titled the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill, will extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to six months.
The Bill would give 26,000 families every year more time to bond with their new-born babies.
It’s clear that ensuring there is time for parents and babies to bond in the first six months reaps real benefits later on – both in social and economic terms.
I look forward to pursuing this issue in the community and through Parliament so that our children get the very best start in life.
It is Labour policy to bring in 12 months’ paid parental leave and my Bill is a good start in achieving this. I propose we increase paid parental leave by four weeks each year, so that New Zealand parents have an entitlement to 26 weeks paid parental leave by 2014.
I have written the Bill in this way so that it is affordable. If other political parties place a priority on supporting children and families and are prepared to act in their interests, then my Bill will go to select committee for further discussion.
The financial veto threatened by the Government against extending paid parental leave cannot occur until there has been informed debate in Parliament and they can only use this heavy-handed power when the Bill reaches its third reading.
The Paid Parental Leave Bill is currently before select committee for consideration and to hear public submissions on the Bill. If you would like to be kept informed please enter your contact details below and we will keep you updated on the Bill’s progress.
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