In April, Sue Moroney’s Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament.
The Bill aims to extend paid parental leave to a maximum of 26 weeks. The current entitlement to paid parental leave is 14 weeks
Plunket CEO Jenny Prince says that the Bill deserves the opportunity to be debated through the parliamentary legislative process.
“Plunket recommends six months paid parental leave to give every child born in New Zealand the best start in life.
“The first three years and especially the very early months of a child’s life are the most important to set the platform for a child’s long term health and development.
“Babies need the chance to bond with their Mum without pressure on her to return to work or manage on a suddenly reduced income.
“The bill would be a step towards aligning ourselves to other countries with more generous paid parental leave legislation. It would also affirm New Zealand’s commitment to the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child.”
Possible benefits from the outcomes of the bill could include:
• significant benefits to the whole country long term
• improved infant psycho social health through attachment
• reduced admissions for communicable and respiratory diseases and skin infections
• reduced stress for families
• community development (through improved connection as mothers stay home longer and look to community support).
Mrs Prince says that Plunket looks forward to the opportunity to contribute to the debate.