The Prime Minister needs to show the common sense and compassion missing from her Workplace Relations Minister and right the wrong that prevents new parents taking leave together to spend time with their newborns, National Party Leader Bill English says.
National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best.
“The Government is refusing to recognise that parents are best-placed to make their own decisions, and should be free to take leave together to spend time with their new baby, should they choose.
“This would ensure parents can be at home together supporting each other and bonding with their babies in those important and stressful early months.
“Why should parents of a very sick child, or families where a parent is suffering from post-natal depression, not have that choice?
“We know that members of the Labour caucus also support the idea and are disappointed Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway is stubbornly rejecting a good thing on what are clearly flimsy grounds.
“The Prime Minister should acknowledge this is an idea that would really benefit parents and new babies, and overrule her Minister to make it happen.
“The Bill, which National supports, isn’t due to become law until July so the good news for the Government is it’s not too late to do the right thing.
“With the Bill back before the House tonight, National will move a second motion to refer the Bill to select committee to allow this change to be incorporated.
“The Prime Minister now has another opportunity to right this wrong. I encourage Ms Ardern to do so.”