Paid Parental Leave Extension Falls Short

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — 10:31 PM

A bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks appears to have been successfully blocked by National from passing in this Parliament.

The House rose interrupting the committee stage debate of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill on clause two of the bill just before 10pm.

One attempt to close debate on clause one failed as it was tied 60 to 60 with National holding Peter Dunne’s proxy on procedural matters. It did not matter as there was not enough time left to complete debate on all clauses ahead of the House rising for the evening.

There is only one scheduled Members’ Day left before the House last rises ahead of the dissolution of this Parliament, which means it is likely there will only be time to complete the committee stage of the bill and not the third reading.

National has indicated if necessary it would use Finance Minister Bill English’s power of veto after passing law extending paid parental leave at a slower rate in the Budget. They argue the bill’s proposal is too expensive. Labour has the backing of all other parties including National’s usual allies the Maori Party and Peter Dunne to pass the bill into law.

At the beginning of tonight’s debate the Bill’s Sue Moroney outlined the reasons for the bill and her frustration with National’s opposition, while Chris Tremain laid out National’s position.

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