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Paid Parental Leave For Self-employed Welcomed

Paid Parental Leave For Self-employed Welcomed

Federated Farmers congratulates the Government for delivering on its promise to extend paid parental leave to self-employed women, said Don Nicolson, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

His comments follow legislation that will allow self-employed mothers to be eligible for 14 weeks paid parental leave from July 2006. The legislation was referred to a select committee this week.

The legislation will remove a gross inequity that has been in place since tax payer funded paid parental leave – for employees only – was first introduced in 2002.

Close to 75% of those working in the agricultural sector are self-employed, so the availability of paid parental leave in 2006 is particularly good news for sharemilkers and young farm owners.

“The needs of thousands of young self-employed farming couples who currently struggle to run their farms around the birth or the adoption of their child will, for the first time in four years, be recognised on an equal basis with employees,” said Mr Nicolson.

Federated Farmers has been assured by Labour Minister Ruth Dyson, that the calculation of parental leave payments for the self-employed will be simple and non-bureaucratic.

“It will not require self-employed mums to prove loss of earnings, but will require them to stop physical work.

“The Federation will be ensuring these assurances are enshrined in the legislation,” said Mr Nicolson.

“As a broad principle, Federated Farmers is opposed to paid parental leave. However, as the government has adopted paid parental leave, we are pleased it is now available to all working parents,” Mr Nicolson concluded.


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