Government urged to keep open mind over paid parental leave extension

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The government should keep an open mind over extending paid parental leave, says a group campaigning in support of the move.

Last night’s One News Colmar Brunton poll showed nearly two thirds of respondents support an extension of paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 26 weeks.

Deborah Morris-Travers, spokesperson for 26 for Babies, said there was still plenty of time for the National Party to support Sue Moroney’s bill extending paid parental leave.

“We would encourage National to let the debate on this bill run its course before they rule out their support.  The report of the select committee considering the bill hasn’t yet been published and factors like implementation date have yet to be considered.”

“What we do know is that the public are right behind an extension of paid parental leave to 26 weeks.  The bill has attracted strong support from members of the public and many community organisations who know that extending paid parental leave is the right thing to do for babies, parents and the workforce.”

“The majority of MPs in Parliament support this bill also.  The government should not use a financial veto to block the progress of a bill helping to support families to care for their babies at home in the early months of their life,” Deborah Morris-Travers said.

The poll aired last night.  62 per cent of respondents supported extending paid parental leave from the current 14 weeks to 26 weeks, as proposed in Sue Moroney’s bill.  The poll result is here.

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