Call for 13 months paid parental leave

Tuesday August 28, 2007
The Families Commission is calling for paid parental leave payments to be increased, and for the leave to be longer and easier to get. The Government started funding paid parental leave in 2002 and parents are able to take 14 weeks paid leave, one to two weeks unpaid paternity leave and 38 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave. Family Commission Chief Commissioner Rajen Prasad said current provisions were moving in the right direction. “However we recommend that by 2015 parents are provided with a total of 13 months paid leave, including a month’s paid leave for fathers,” he said.The commission made several recommendations in a report released today. These are estimated to cost $95 million today and $300m-$450m by 2015. Dr Prasad said extending parental leave would benefit families, children, employers and workplaces – it would show parenting was valued and bring New Zealand’s provisions into line with other developed countries. “Further extending the support given to parents through parental leave is an investment in the economy and in families.”