Parental leave bill pulled from ballot

By Kate Shuttleworth

The bill could see New Zealand's legislation brought in line with World Health Organisation recommendations that exclusive breastfeeding is carried through until six months of age. Photo / Thinkstock
The bill could see New Zealand's legislation brought in line with World Health Organisation recommendations that exclusive breastfeeding is carried through until six months of age. Photo / Thinkstock

Parental leave could be extended from 14 weeks to six months.

Labour MP Sue Maroney's bill on parental leave was pulled from the ballot this week.

She said it could see an extra 26,000 families a year given extra time to be with their newborns.

The bill could see New Zealand's legislation brought in line with World Health Organisation recommendations that exclusive breastfeeding is carried through until six months of age.

"The ability for parents to choose to care for newborn babies is an essential part of supporting families to develop nurturing relationships," said Moroney.

If implemented her bill could lead to social and economic benefits further down the track, she said.

"As the majority of paid parental leave is uplifted by women, it has the added benefit of creating jobs in areas of the economy where women work, while supporting families and the well-being of children."

Labour party policy aimed to increase parental leave to 12 months paid parental leave and Ms Moroney said her bill would be a start.

The bill recognised the fiscal implications of the increased parental leave entitlement and if it became law would implement the six months paid parental leave over three years.

- APNZ

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