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Paid Parental Leave – What Employers Want

27 OCTOBER 1999

Media Release
27 October 1999


Paid Parental Leave – Simpson Grierson Survey Finds What Employers Want


A small majority – 51% – of employers are saying “No” to statutory paid parental leave, according to a new survey by national law firm Simpson Grierson. Only 34% approved of the concept, while the rest were uncertain.

However, the survey, which asked 662 employers with 10 or more employees whether they approved or disapproved of paid parental leave, also found that 13% of those employers were already providing paid parental leave to their employees.

Currently, parental leave entitlements are covered by the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. This Act prescribes 14 weeks maternity leave, two weeks paternity leave and extended leave of up to 52 weeks – all without pay – for employees.

Key findings from the Simpson Grierson Holidays Act Survey showed:

 That if paid parental leave should become law, 57% of employers felt it should be funded by government taxes; the next most popular choice was funding by a combination of government taxes and employers (34% of employers chose this option). Only 4% of employers wanted statutory paid parental leave funded by the employer.

 The 13% of employers who said they already provided paid parental leave, typically offered at least six weeks paid leave for female employees and at least two weeks for male employees.

“Paid parental leave has become something of an election issue,” says Simpson Grierson Employment Law partner Phillipa Muir. “In some industry sectors – and the legal profession is one – there is such a demand for excellent practitioners, and such a comparative shortage, that entitlements like these are becoming part of business life.”

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The Simpson Grierson research focused primarily on the Holidays Act. However it also investigated, as a side issue, employer opinions on a couple of key issues such as the millennium and paid parental leave.

The Simpson Grierson Holidays Act Survey was conducted in July by independent research company Marketing Diagnostics and Development Limited.

The survey results are intended to provide New Zealand businesses with a benchmark of “typical” practice. They are also intended to provide regulators and policy makers with authoritative information about employment practices, to help them advance New Zealand law.

Simpson Grierson's Employment Law Group was set up 10 years ago and was the first specialist employment law practice to be developed by a large law firm in New Zealand. The group is well recognised as a leading team in the area.

Simpson Grierson is a top tier New Zealand law firm, of 54 partners and 450 staff, based in Auckland and Wellington. The firm will deliver the results of the survey back to their employment law clients and those employers who participated in the survey.


ends

MEDIA! PLEASE REFER ALL ENQUIRIES FOR INTERVIEWS AND FURTHER INFORMATION DURING THE PERIOD 27 OCTOBER TO 7 NOVEMBER TO:

PRaxis Public Relations Limited
Bill Moore
Phone (09) 373-5068
Mobile (025) 769-654
Home (09) 817-9257
Email: bill@praxispr.co.nz

AFTER 7 NOVEMBER PLEASE REFER ALL ENQUIRIES TO:
Andrea Parker
Public Relations Manager
Simpson Grierson
Phone (09) 358-2222

Spokespeople for this release are:
Phillipa Muir or Don Mackinnon
Partner Partner
Simpson Grierson Simpson Grierson

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