Labour MP proposes longer paid parental leave
1:15PM Thursday Jun 18, 2009

The Labour Party has drafted a member's bill proposing that paid parental leave be extended from the current 14 weeks to six months.

MP Sue Moroney, the party's spokeswoman on women's affairs, said other countries had much longer paid parental leave (PPL) than New Zealand and Australia was moving to 18 weeks in 2011.

Her bill proposes moving to 18 weeks in 2011, then 22 weeks in 2012 and finally 26 weeks (six months) on January 1, 2013.

"Extending PPL allows parents to bond with their new babies, supports breast-feeding for six months and helps families to focus on their needs during those precious early months," she said.

Based on the latest figures, her proposals would cost an extra $40 million in each phase.

Ms Moroney's bill will go into a ballot with other members' bills. There is usually a draw every second Wednesday Parliament is sitting.

Members' bills progress slowly and rarely succeed without the support of the Government.

- NZPA

From here.