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Paid parental leave

Plunket works through coalitions, the news media and the Parliamentary process to achieve change for families. Increased paid parental leave is one of Plunket's advocacy priorities. We belong to the 26 for Babies coalition, which advocates for longer paid parental leave and have worked on this matter since 2012. Read Plunket's submissions on paid parental leave: 2012, 2014, 2015.

Why support 26 weeks' paid parental leave?

There are many reasons to support 26 weeks’ paid parental leave: increased breastfeeding opportunities and enhanced parent/baby bonding and attachment; reduced financial stress and promotion of strong neighbourhoods. Improving child and family health outcomes make good economic sense. 

What's happening in 2016?

Oral submissions on Labour minister Sue Moroney's bill finished in March 2016. This bill calls for 26 weeks leave for all families and is supported by Plunket. As well, a government bill on paid parental leave was passed in the House on 10 March 2016. This bill has included some wins for families but there's more to do.

What does the government bill do?

  • Extend the standard paid parental leave entitlement of 16 weeks (18 weeks from 1 April 2016) to the primary carer of the traditional Māori practice of whangai (formal adoptions have always been covered by the law).
  • Extend standard paid parental leave entitlements to a wider range of workers, such as casual workers and those who have recently changed their job.
  • Improve sharing of leave entitlements between partners.
  • Offer greater-than-standard paid parental leave entitlements for the primary carer of pre-term babies.

Unfortunately what the government bill does not do is extend paid parental leave beyond 18 weeks for all families. So Plunket still needs to work hard in 2016 for at least 26 weeks paid parental leave for all New Zealand families. We expect to do this with your help via 26 for Babies coalition events, more submissions and media statements.

To keep up to date with the new laws and dates when the changes come into force, try this link.


 Posted on 24 March 2016


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