New Zealand Labour Party

National should support all families for 26 weeks

Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for Women Sue Moroney says.

National is reportedly preparing to include extended support for these families in its Employment Standards Legislation Bill currently before Parliament.

This mirrors the proposal Sue Moroney took to the floor of Parliament in February which was lost on a tied 60-60 vote because the Government voted against it.

“Evidence shows babies do better the longer they are with their parents and the longer they are breastfed. All mothers know how hard it is to continue breastfeeding when you have to go back to work.

“Between 18 and 26 weeks babies go through significant milestones such as starting solids and sitting up by themselves. All parents should have the opportunity to share those special moments with their babies.

“Labour’s three year battle to extend paid parental leave to all families kicks off again tonight when my new bill comes before Parliament.

“Unfortunately, if National hadn’t played politics with this issue, that extra help would have been available for all families from July this year.

“National and its support partners should take this opportunity to show they can put the needs of Kiwi families ahead of politics and support my Bill,” Sue Moroney says.