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Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda

Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says.

“My Bill will make life easier for the 26,000 new parents who are eligible for paid parental leave each year.

“Labour once again has the support to get this through Parliament.

“This new Bill will also give parents the ability to keep their foot in the door by working up to 156 hours over their leave period without losing their entitlement,” Sue Moroney says.

Labour also hopes to protect vulnerable children after Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni had her Bill to require social workers to be registered pulled.

“At the moment anyone can call themselves a social worker. That is dangerous and puts children at risk.

“My Bill will ensure all social workers have their qualifications reviewed each year and are registered professionals,” Carmel Sepuloni says.

Two other Labour Member’s Bills pulled from the ballot today – in the names of MPs Phil Goff and Adrian Rurawhe – will put the brakes on National’s failing charter schools experiment.

Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says the Bills would require charter schools to teach the same curriculum as state schools and make ACT leader David Seymour subject to the Official Information Act.

“Charter school students should not be at risk of having a lower standard of education because National has allowed untrained teachers to teach whatever they like.

“The Government has been trying to hide allegations of bullying, drug use and absenteeism at charter schools. David Seymour – who is the Undersecretary of Education – is pushing to have more opened and must be as publicly accountable as the Education Minister,” Chris Hipkins says.