National Party Workplace Relations Spokesperson Amy Adams is today lodging a private members’ bill to provide flexible Paid Parental Leave so both parents can take leave at the same time.
“Tomorrow I’ll be asking MPs to debate my bill in Parliament on Members Day this week,” Ms Adams says.
“This means we can pass the Government bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks and begin the usual Parliamentary process on this amendment to increase flexibility.
“The Prime Minister has already indicated this idea has merit, and the Government will look at it – but not at the expense of the current bill before the House. The good news is we don’t have to wait.
“I’m hoping all parties will support the bill going to select committee. This approach can be a real win-win for the Parliament.
“National believes parents should be able to choose how to best take care of their new-born baby, not the Government.
“We’ve previously sought to get this amendment added to the current legislation in Parliament to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks, but Labour are refusing to consider it saying there’s not enough time, even though the increase doesn’t take effect until 1 July next year.
“Countless parents around New Zealand have contacted us wanting flexibility in paid parental leave. From the families who have sick children who need the support of both parents, to the families who cannot afford to take time off without pay.
“National wants to give parents the right to choose for themselves what parental leave arrangements work best for them and this bill will allow them to do so.”