OneNews 31 March 2015
Paid Parental Leave increases by two weeks to 16 weeks from tomorrow.
The entitlement will rise by another two weeks to 18 weeks from April 1 next year.
That’ll put New Zealand parents on par with those in Australia who already get 18 weeks paid parental leave, and in line with the OECD average which is about 18 weeks.
But Kiwi parents will still lag behind many in the developed world.
Parents in Luxembourg and Portugal may take 20 weeks or more while prolonged periods of paid leave of around 100 weeks or more can be taken in Finland, Hungary, Norway, Poland and the Slovak Republic.
However Kiwi parents are better off than their counterparts in in Greece, Korea and the Netherlands where parental leave is less than a week, while around a third of OECD countries do not provide any paternity leave.
Meanwhile, the parental tax credit for lower-income families in New Zealand will rise from $150 a week to $220 a week from tomorrow. The entitlement for this credit will increase from eight weeks to 10 weeks.
A Labour MP’s final bid to extend paid parental leave to six months was defeated last month after a three-year battle to get it over the line.
Sue Moroney had sought to extend paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 26 weeks. But she amended the bill late last year to limit it to parents in special circumstances, after the Government indicated it would veto the bill on financial grounds even if it passed.