Some good news for parents-to-be


As part of the 2014 budget, the government has announced that it will be increasing paid parental leave to 18 weeks by 2016.

As part of the 2014 budget, the government has announced that it will be increasing paid parental leave to 18 weeks by 2016. While this isn’t the 26 weeks we’ve been campaigning for, under the banner of the 26 for babies campaign along with other unions and community groups, it’s a step in the right direction.

Rebecca Matthews, spokesperson for the 26 for Babies says “[The] Government clearly needed to take action to raise New Zealand from near the bottom of the OECD for paid leave with new babies. Public support for increasing parental leave was overwhelming, and Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill demonstrates that most political parties agree.  The Government had no choice but to act.”

“This extra month, while modest, will be welcomed by new families but needs to be part of a longer term plan to give babies more time at home with mum or dad.  Ministry of Health advises exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of baby’s life, and this must be backed up with longer paid parental leave.”

“Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave is still before Parliament and provides a good opportunity for National and Labour to work together to deliver six months paid parental leave over time.”

After some controversy, Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks has passed into its second reading. Despite having the numbers to pass into law, it is expected that the National party will use its power of financial veto.

For more information on the budget, here is an overview from the Council of Trade Unions (CTU).