Paid Parental leave differences and confusion

One of the new Government’s priority policies, being advanced under urgency in Parliament, is an increase in the length of time Paid parental leave will be paid for.

National has said they will vote for the bill, but have suggested a change.

The bill allows both parents to share the allowed number of weeks paid parental leave, but not at the same time. National wants to give parents the choice of taking leave at the same time if they want to, so for the first few weeks both can be on paid leave.

There are confused responses from Labour. Newshub – Confusion in Labour as National pushes for shared parental leave:

The National Party will support Labour’s legislation to provide 26-weeks of Paid Parental Leave (PPL), but wants it tweaked so both parents can take leave at the same time.

Labour’s response to the demand has been confused. While Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says the policy could be considered, Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis appeared to rule it out.

Labour’s policy allows parents to split 26 weeks of PPL between them but not take it at the same time.

Their policy is to increase PPL to 22 weeks next year, and to 26 weeks in 2020.

Amy Adams, National’s spokesperson for workplace relations, says that’s inflexible and “going back to the nanny state of telling families how to arrange their lives”.

Making ‘nanny state’ accusations is unlikely to help get cross-party agreement.

“The proposal we’re talking about would simply allow families to choose whether to take some or all of the leave together,” she said on Tuesday morning.

Ms Adams said the option of taking PPL together would be particularly helpful for parents of twins, premature babies and babies with older siblings. She said it wouldn’t add any additional cost.

National campaigned on the policy to increase PPL to 22 weeks and to allow parents to take some of those 22 weeks off at the same time.

Acting Prime Minister Kelvin Davis…

…appeared to cold-shoulder National’s idea, saying Labour is happy with the bill as is.

“We’re really excited by the fact that by 2020, parents will be able to take 26 weeks’ paid parental leave.”

“We’re happy with the bill that we’ve put forward.”

Willow-Jean Prime…

…said she knows how difficult being a new mother can be and would be talking to Minister for Workplace Relations Iain Lees-Galloway about adopting National’s amendment.

“That is one of the most challenging times – as soon as Mum has given birth – and I know in our own situation, that was a time I really appreciated having my husband there. Being a school teacher he only had about a week and that was difficult.”

Mr Lees-Galloway…

…is leaving the option open.

But he said the way it’s being explained by National at the moment goes against the spirit of the bill because it would reduce the overall amount of time parents could spend with babies.

An odd response. Labour’s stance would eliminate the possibility of the second parent from taking paid parental leave at the same time as the other parent, for example immediately after the baby was born.

It looks like Labour is lacking leadership (Jacinda Ardern is away in Asia) and lacking coordination, and Adams is lacking a conciliatory approach. Attack and criticism is not a good way to work together, as they should be on this bill.

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28 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  November 15, 2017

    National had 9 years to do this; why didn’t they? Instead, they opposed moves to improve the legislation; why???
    Sounds like they’re simply grandstanding from the safety (and impotency) of Opposition.

    Reply
    • there seems to be some attempt at point scoring from both National and Labour, which is a shame.

      Robert, you’re not actually addressing the issue. Do you think parents should be given a choice how they use their 22 weeks PPL (26 weeks in 2020)?

      I’d have loved to have been able to choose to take leave as a father when my babies were born – or to choose to give their mother all the available leave.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  November 15, 2017

        The issue, unresolved still, but please feel free to have a go, Pete, is why didn’t National do that, or anything approaching this, when they were in Government? Fair question, Pete.

        Reply
        • They claimed fiscal reasons for vetoing the Members’ Bill. I criticised them for that at the time, I have supported 26 weeks PPL for years.

          The fiscal situation has changed, we are now in surplus.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  November 15, 2017

            Hilarious, Pete – they also claimed a multi-billion dollar hole, and that Labour couldn’t afford what they promised. In any case, Did you support National’s stance of “can’t afford it” back then? Rock star economy and all that – surely those economic geniuses could have afforded it.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 15, 2017

              Robert, National DID increase paid parental leave – from 14 to 18 weeks. They also broadened who was entitled to receive it.

              They were also going to increase it this term.

              Head to media watch for an update on the fiscal hole…suddenly the economists agree with Joyce.

          • robertguyton

             /  November 15, 2017

            18 weeks, HFD, yes. “Were going to”? Perhaaaaaaps.
            The fiscal hole, according to Joyce?
            Pffffffffffffffffft!

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  November 15, 2017

              Thankfully we have an opposition now who vote on the quality of legislation instead of barking at every passing car.
              Despite your excessive use of consonants they are supporting – and trying to improve the PPL law, and will also back Labour on the more or less unchanged TPP agreement passing.
              Ian Lees Galloway is backpeddling as fast as he can on the “Hobbit Law” repeal, that now isn’t as bad as they thought.

              Meanwhile the Greens sit on the sidelines massaging their principles and making sure everyone knows that they are in this Government – they REALLY are…

        • Andrew

           /  November 15, 2017

          Probably for the same reason Labour didn’t ban foreign buyers while they oversaw the largest increases in house prices in modern history, or the reason why they didn’t raise benefits above inflation, or the reason why they didn’t implement the living wage, or the reason …..

          Because they didn’t!

          Please do keep up, we need a better class of trolls.

          Reply
        • Andrew

           /  November 15, 2017

          and … if it’s so bloody important, why are they waiting until 2020? That, in itself is a bloody joke. Been wailing on for years how it should be 26 weeks, and now they have the opportunity and they are waiting for another 3 years.

          Reply
  2. Missy

     /  November 15, 2017

    My comment on this at Open Forum:

    So, it looks like the nanny state has begun. Labour don’t think that parents know what is best for them and their situation and not allowing the ability for flexibility in their paid parental leave bill. There is no reason why there cannot be a provision for parents to decide how to use the 26 weeks PPL, instead Labour think it is their right to dictate that only one parent can take the leave at a time so the ‘baby can bond with the primary caregiver’. A baby needs to bond with both parents. The reality for many two parent families in modern times is that there is no one primary caregiver, but rather two parents raising the child/ren together.

    This is a backward step for a ‘progressive’ party, unless of course they are only opposing out of habit because National suggested it, in which case have they forgotten they are in Government and no longer in opposition, they don’t need to oppose for the sake of it.

    Reply
  3. One of a kind

     /  November 15, 2017

    I suspect that Davis is struggling as Clint isn’t around to tell him what he should think and say.

    Obviously Ja has got Davis’ family jewels tucked away in her handbag in Asia so he doesn’t have the ability to offer an opinion.

    Given that, I wonder if you could just install a repeating robot as Acting PM – it would make as much sense as Davis is at the moment.

    Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  November 15, 2017

    Having watched the bill reintroduced (S Moroney’s Mbr bill).. I just cant believe the Drivel I hear from Natz in opposition; talking as if they now support a ‘intent of the bill’, they previously voted against & then vetoed, after it passed all stages !

    They have been jumping up & down about the new GOVT. blocking A Adams’ SOP & calling for the bill to be sent back to select committee (having already been through it, twice before). I agree with RG.. classic Grandstanding tactic from a bunch of Sore Losers, trying to be now, seen as relevant !

    Maybe they need to look up a couple of words; Humble & Listen.

    It sounds like they have very, VERY short memories; having blocked nearly every opposition bill & SOP for 9 years. Now expecting the new Govt. to do the opposite & support all theirs.. UTU 😀

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  November 15, 2017

      actually I wonder if; ‘very, VERY short memories’.. is contagious, their previous leader (of 8 years) had it on a very regular basis ! 😀

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  November 15, 2017

        National did support the bill, just not the affordability of it while we were in deficit.

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 15, 2017

          They obviously had no confidence in getting out of deficit. Anyway, 18 weeks?
          That said, Labour should, and perhaps have already or presently are, look at the proposal. National, meanwhile, will use a seemingly kind gesture to hammer the Government with; their true intention in raising the issue.

          Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  November 15, 2017

          National did support the bill – they vetoed it, didn’t they?
          Some support !

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  November 15, 2017

            I support every family having a double glazed 4 bedroom house on a 1/4 acre section to raise their children.
            Doesn’t mean I would support legislation to make it happen because the cost would be prohibitive.

            Reply
        • Trevors_elbow

           /  November 15, 2017

          Correct
          Vetoed by MOF… pursued by Laboir as a dtunt in the last parliament

          Reply
  5. david in aus

     /  November 15, 2017

    Ad hominem attacks of leftists is a sign of them losing the argument.
    To them policies cannot ever evolve because it should have happened 1,2,3…9 years ago. Classic closed-mindedness.

    Getting Labour apologists to answer the question, ‘why shouldn’t both parent share paid parental leave’ is like pulling teeth…lots of groans and moans and no coherence. Eventually, true to form, make anti-men statements.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  November 15, 2017

      I suppose you want both parents to give birth..too.

      Reply
      • david in aus

         /  November 15, 2017

        To add. Make nonsense statements.

        Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  November 15, 2017

        No relevance to the point Blazer…

        Men are parents. They deserve bonding time as well and deserve the opportunity to support their partners when they have a child.

        What part of that are you against Blazer?… Or do you have nothing cogent to say on the topic?…

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  November 15, 2017

          I ‘ve actually come around to agreeing with the consensus.Apparantly this will be introduced over a period.

          Reply
  6. Westie Bob

     /  November 16, 2017

    So a mother who has a cesarean and is advised to avoid heavy lifting and not drive for weeks can’t utilise Dad. A father of Triplets can’t help out in the first few weeks. Even though it will cost not a cent more. #Dad’s Matter.

    Reply

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