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Timeline Announced For Paid Parental Leave

Sunday May 13

Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré and Minister of Finance Michael
Cullen clarify timetable for finalising Paid Parental Leave details.

"Whilst it has been agreed that a paid parental leave scheme will be started from 1 April next year, the key features of the scheme are yet to be finalised", Laila Harré and Michael Cullen said in a short statement.

The two Ministers were responding to an article in today's Sunday Star Times which suggested that most matters had already been finalised.

The timetable for the introduction of the scheme is that the policy work should be completed by August 2001 and legislation introduced later this year in time to provide for a 1 April 2002 start.

"Good progress has been made in identifying the policy options resulting from the objectives of both Labour and the Alliance on funding, duration of the scheme, and its nature. But the details would only be finalised over the next few months," the Ministers said.

The goal of the Coalition was to introduce a robust paid parental leave scheme. But the level of funding, any cap, and its relationship to income, was not yet finalised.

These key details meant that paid parental leave would not be announced in this year's budget, apart from recognising that the intention to introduce it from 1 April 2002 represented an as yet unquantified fiscal risk on the contingency fund for the 2001-2002 budget.


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