Govt bats away PPL changes
The Government has slapped down an 11th-hour motion from National to put its paid parental leave (PPL) extension to public consultation - which would have allowed a proposal for parents to take leave at the same time to be considered.
Opposition leader Bill English attempted to put the motion through during Parliamentary Question Time, however multiple Government MPs and ministers voiced their objection. Under the rules of Parliament, only one MP needs to object for a motion to be rejected.
The extension was passed into law under urgency last night, despite changes not coming into effect until July 1, next year.
A formal amendment to the legislation, put forward by the Opposition, had already been voted down by the Government on Tuesday night.
The proposal from National Party MP Amy Adams would have allowed parents to choose if they wanted to take some, or all of their 22 weeks paid parental leave together.
English said it was ‘‘not too late for the Government to do the right thing’’.
“The Government is refusing to recognise that parents are bestplaced to make their own decisions, and should be free to take leave together to spend time with their new baby, should they choose. This would ensure parents can be at home together supporting each other and bonding with their babies in those important and stressful early months,’’ English said.
“Why should parents of a very sick child, or families where a parent is suffering from post-natal depression, not have that choice?’’