Paid Parental Leave Bill Discharged

by Desk Editor on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — 8:08 PM

A Labour MP’s paid parental leave bill has been voted down and during the debate the Government indicated it would be introducing a reform bill on the subject later this year.

Debate on the third reading of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave) Amendment Bill began with the bill’s sponsor Sue Moroney asking for the bill be sent back to committee stage. The vote was tied by 60 to 60 with National and ACT against and this meant the motion failed.

Sue Moroney said the bill had a long history and she accused National of deceit in their handling of the bill and the way in which they defeated it and introduced their own watered down version.

National’s Michael Woodhouse said the bill was more than the Government could afford to pay and Labour had not moved that far when they were in Government at a time when the economy was much stronger. He said the increases introduced in the last Budget were fair and affordable. These moved paid parental leave from 14 weeks to 18 weeks over a staggered period. Ms Moroney’s bill originally proposed 26 weeks.

He said it was the Government’s intention to introduce another paid parental bill during the year extending eligibility for paid parental leave. This would include Maori traditional adoption and also allow workers to have contact with their workplace without losing their entitlement. The Bill would be introduced in June.

The vote on the bill was 60 to 60 with National and ACT opposed which meant it did not proceed. The bill was gutted in the committee stage and contained no substantive clauses.

MPs began the second reading debate on the Register of Pecuniary Interests of Judges Bill.

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