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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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National to extend paid parental leave

Posted at 11:42am Tuesday 29 Aug, 2017

National has announced plans to extend Paid Parental Leave to 22 weeks as part of its Parents and Newborns Package.

In a statement released this morning, Naitonal says the package is designed to support families to grow and stay healthy, while also putting more money into their pockets.

“National will share the dividends of a growing economy, with more support for families with newborns in a new package made possible only by the improving government finances,” Women Spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

National’s Parents and Newborns Package will:

  •   •  Progressively extend Paid Parental Leave to 22 weeks over two years, with an initial step of two weeks on 1 July 2018 followed by a further two weeks on 1 July 2019

  •   •  Add flexibility to Paid Parental Leave, by allowing both parents to take some of the 22 weeks off at the same time so they can be at home with their baby together

  •   •  Support women to take care of their own health by offering them one free dental course during pregnancy and up to their baby’s first birthday

  •   •  Give more families a chance to have a baby by providing a third free IVF cycle, and speeding up access to fertility treatment for eligible couples

Paula says this package will make a huge difference for thousands of families during a vital stage in their lives.

“National’s Parents and Newborns package recognises the role of both parents, and allows families to have the flexibility that suits their circumstances. It is good for parents, good for their baby and will help support women in the workforce."

Workplace Relations and Safety Spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says National has always wanted to increase Paid Parental Leave in a responsible way.

“We’ve already increased it to 18 weeks and widened the criteria for those that can access it – the improving fiscal outlook means we can now extend Paid Parental Leave further,” says Michael.

Health Spokesperson Dr Jonathan Coleman says that a growing economy is allowing National to help to grow and support new families.

“All New Zealanders deserve the chance to have a family so we are also pleased to be able to stand behind people struggling to conceive, through funding for an extra IVF for those who need it,” Dr Coleman says.

“We also want to support pregnant women and new mothers take care of their health.

“As pregnancy can lead to dental problems for some women, we will fund one dental course for all pregnant women and mothers up until their baby’s first birthday, including a check-up and any resulting x-rays, extractions and fillings.

“National believes in supporting families to have healthy babies who grow up to be healthy kids, and we are making real progress.

“Around 94 per cent of 8 month olds are now immunised and around 800,000 children under 13 are benefiting from free GP visits and prescriptions.”

Pauala says National’s Parents and Newborns Package will ensure parents can spend more time at home supporting each other and bonding with their babies in those important and stressful early months, and we will help them stay healthier.

“National will continue to ensure the benefits of our growing economy are passed on to families,."

The Parents and Newborns Package will come into effect on 1 July 2018. It is expected to cost $88 million per year from 2019/2020 once 22 weeks of Paid Parental Leave is fully implemented.


Boring Bill at it again

Posted on 30-08-2017 19:16 | By Tgaboy

12 months ago this suggestion made it through government processes only to be shut down by National who said NZ could not afford it. Now National are offering it but the funds have not changed. Election lolly scramble from a desperate party on the out. See ya simple Simon.

Posted on 29-08-2017 18:30 | By overit

bribe. Why now Bill?

Posted on 29-08-2017 17:36 | By old trucker

To Miss adventure again, and Sunlive who is the BEST IN NEW ZEALAND for News AWESOME,Thankyou, 10-4 out. phew.
here we go again

Posted on 29-08-2017 12:38 | By old trucker

All this before a election, parents you will only get this if you vote for him, its a BRIBE,and all smoke, if you dont want it, its your choice, why should, (and my thoughts only) have time off and for someone to take your place, and then you go back and they have to leave,i feel this is selfish,i do not know how people can afford to have children now in these tough times, GOSH its beyond me, we never had this problem in the day,NO child care or Govt,. help.we got through, how do Companies afford this ,people get jobs, and get pregnant and then have to have time off, (WHY) do we have to pay them to have this time off, its their decision to have them ,and they should look after them without our help, if you cannot afford to have kids(dont have them) mythoughtsonlySunlive,
Great idea

Posted on 29-08-2017 12:04 | By MISS ADVENTURE

How about allowing men to have the time off to, paid, that woul be fair and certainly "equality".

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