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Paid parental leave for self-employed welcome

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

Paid parental leave for self-employed welcome. Shame about tacked on sneaky bit

A last item of legislation introduced to Parliament seeks to extend paid parental leave to the self-employed, and is very welcome, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for EMA (Northern).

But the Bill came with a sneaky provision tacked on, Mr Lowe said.

"We hope that whatever Government is formed after the election, the principle of extending paid parental leave to the self-employed will be kept alive", Mr Lowe said.

"But the sneaky, tacked on bit found hiding unannounced in the detail left a sour taste.

"Under a heading of 'Other' changes in the Bill, called 'Paid Parental Leave for Self Employed Persons', a benefit for employees has been added which reduces the qualifying time for a second period of parental leave from 12 to six months.

"The Minister's press release of August 9th said nothing about it, not even in the question and answer sheet.

"Though its no big deal for most employers, we hope the lack of transparency is not a trend Labour would continue if re-elected.

"Labour Minister Swain's office has already refused to tell us where they stand on the Green's Flexible Working Hours Bill.

"The original Bill gave no hint that changes were planned for employee's work conditions."

ENDS

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