Parental leave hits parliament - again

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Parental leave could soon be up for debate once again after National MP Amy Adams lodged a private members’ bill addressing the issue yesterday afternoon.

If successful, the bill would force employers to provide flexible paid parental leave so both parents can take leave at the same time.

“I’ll be asking MPs to debate my bill in Parliament on Members Day this week,” said Adams, who is currently the MP for the Selwyn district in Canterbury.

“This means we can pass the Government bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks and begin the usual Parliamentary process on this amendment to increase flexibility.”

Adams said PM Jacinda Ardern had already indicated she was open to considering the idea but not at the expense of the current bill before the House.

“The good news is we don’t have to wait,” said Adams. “I’m hoping all parties will support the bill going to select committee. This approach can be a real win-win for the Parliament.”

Adams said the motivation for the bill had come after “countless” parents had contact National requesting increased flexibility in paid parental leave.

“From the families who have sick children who need the support of both parents, to the families who cannot afford to take time off without pay,” she said.

“National wants to give parents the right to choose for themselves what parental leave arrangements work best for them and this bill will allow them to do so.”

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