Media Release 16 March 2016
Family First NZ is calling for paid parental leave to be extended to 26 weeks, but is also asking for paid paternal leave of two weeks rising to four weeks – and says that there is strong public support for paid father leave according to an independent poll on the issue.
Family First has made a submission today to the Government Administration Select Committee regarding the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill.
“Paid parental leave values mothers and parenting in general. Early childhood education is receiving $1.6b taxpayer funding with no suggestion of a government veto, and yet our investment in hands-on parenting in those early crucial formative years has nowhere near the same investment. It’s time that changed so that parents can make a real choice,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“But research is now showing us that it is important that fathers be actively involved with their children and are not an optional extra. Fathers are fundamental to children’s healthy development as their involvement can improve the health, emotional well-being and educational achievement of their children.”
“The period immediately following the birth of a child is demanding and difficult for mums – especially with sleep deprivation, recovering from childbirth, and coping with the existing demands of siblings. It is completely appropriately, and in fact desirable, that the father is involved in this crucial period of adjustment and to support the mother. This will promote hands-on parenting by fathers, which is a good thing,” says Mr McCoskrie.
According to the latest OECD report, on average, OECD countries offer nine weeks of paid father-specific leave. Nine OECD countries provide no paid father-specific leave at all, and ten offer two weeks or less. However, at the other end of the scale, nine countries reserve three months or more of paid leave for fathers, with the father-specific entitlements in the two East Asian OECD countries – Japan and Korea – lasting as long as twelve months. Father-specific leaves are often well paid when short, although payment rates tend to fall once entitlements last longer than one month or so. In Australia, Dad and Partner Pay is up to 2 weeks of government funded pay based on the rate of the national minimum wage when you are on unpaid leave from work or are not working.
A nationwide poll of New Zealanders commissioned by Family First NZ has found strong support for paid paternal leave of two weeks for fathers. In the poll of 1,000 NZ’ers by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked “Would you support or oppose a proposal to provide Government paid parental leave of 2 weeks to fathers as well as mothers. It is estimated to cost around $20 million a year.”
68% support this proposal with 28% opposing. Interestingly, there was slightly stronger support from women.
PAID PATERNAL LEAVE POLL
CLIENT: Family First New Zealand
POLL DATES: Evenings of Thu 14, Sun 17, Thu 21, Sun 24 Feb 2013
SAMPLE SIZE: 1,000 respondents agreed to participate.
SAMPLE SELECTION: A random selection of 10,000 nationwide phone numbers.
WEIGHTING: The results are weighted to reflect the overall adult population in terms of gender, age, area and deprivation decile.
SAMPLE ERROR: Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.2%, at the 95% confidence level.
PAID PATERNAL LEAVE
Would you support or oppose a proposal to provide Government paid parental leave of 2 weeks to fathers as well as mothers. It is estimated to cost around $20 million a year.
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks||Yes||668||68%|
Strong support for paid paternal leave of 2 weeks for fathers.
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks BY Gender + Age|
|Female||Male||18 – 40||41 – 60||61+||Total|
|Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks||Yes||70%||65%||78%||69%||51%||68%|
Slightly stronger support from women.
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks BY Area|
|Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks||Yes||72%||67%||57%||68%|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks BY Deprivation|
|Deciles 1 – 3||Deciles 4 – 7||Deciles 8 – 10||Total|
|Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks||Yes||72%||66%||66%||68%|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks BY Party Vote 2011|
|Party Vote 2011|
|Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %||Col %|
|Paid paternal leave of 2 weeks||Yes||63%||80%||73%||53%||68%|
The results have been weighted to reflect the adult gender, age, area and deprivation distribution.
|Age||18 – 40||375||37%|
|41 – 60||368||37%|
Metro is defined as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Provincial is all other cities in New Zealand. Rural areas are all areas not Metro or Provincial.
|Deprivation||Deciles 1 – 3||307||31%|
|Deciles 4 – 7||395||39%|
|Deciles 8 – 10||299||30%|
|Party Vote 2011|
|Party Vote 2011||National||400||40%|
|Parental Status||Parent of under 12||278||28%|
|Not parent of under 12||723||72%|
Curia Market Research
25 February 2013