Fight for 26 weeks paid parental leave to go on

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The coalition to support 26 weeks paid parental leave says that public demand for six months leave with a new baby is not going away, and the group will continue to push for government to do more to support better outcomes for children up to the election and beyond.

“Today is the last day for members’ bills to be debated. We should have been celebrating the passage of Sue Moroney’s bill today but now it cannot pass before the election,” said 26 for Babies convenor Rebecca Matthews. But, she said, this issue will not be going away.

“The evidence is strong – longer paid parental leave gives children a better start in life, and 26 weeks is the minimum for the benefits such as breastfeeding and attachment to really begin to flow. Our coalition will continue to advocate for more paid leave, and push for legislation to deliver this for babies and families.”

“The extra four weeks leave announced in the budget was a start, but what children and families really need is for all political parties to plan for more over the next parliamentary term.

“We congratulate Sue Moroney for her leadership on this issue over this term, and all those MPs who have supported her Bill.”

“One thing is very clear – this Bill will be back, and so will the thousands of families who have made their voices heard in support of our youngest citizens.”

Members of the 26 for Babies coalition will be celebrating the progress of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill in the West Foyer of Parliament Wednesday 23 July from 1-2pm.

Ends.

Notes:

A One News-Colmar Brunton poll, released in April 2013, showed 62 percent of respondents support Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks. Read more: http://www.colmarbrunton.co.nz/images/ONE_News_Colmar_Brunton_Poll_report_13-17_Apr_2013.pdf (page 18)

The Select Committee’s report showed that of 3809 submissions on extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks, 99.6 per cent were in favour.

Plunket’s written submission on the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill referred to social, economic and health gains for children and their families. Read more: http://www.plunket.org.nz/assets/What-we-do/Submissions/Plunkets-Submission-on-Paid-Parental-Leave-1.pdf

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