National support welcomed but 26 weeks PPL best for babies

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The 26 for Babies coalition is welcoming the positive statements from National about extending paid parental leave but says that the government must deliver a decent increase for babies and families.

There are good reasons that legislation and child advocates are recommending a six month period of paid leave that national need to be mindful of as they consider their position, said Rebecca Matthews, spokesperson for 26 for Babies. “26 weeks is a reasonable and affordable policy for New Zealand.”

“Paid parental leave entitlements should line up with Ministry of Health advice for six months exclusive breastfeeding. The best long term health benefits for babies and families rely on 26 weeks paid leave to support this, “said Matthews.

“26 weeks of paid parental leave would still leave us in the middle of the pack internationally but it would be a big improvement on New Zealand’s current provision.”

“Extending paid parental leave is extremely popular with the public and it has broad political support. By using a financial veto or by making only a small increase National would be flying in the face of all the evidence and the ground swell of support.”

“We congratulate Sue Moroney and Labour for their continued leadership on this important issue and thank all those political parties who remain steadfast in their support for 26 weeks paid parental leave.”

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