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Small Businesses Bear the Burden of Parenthood

Small Businesses Will Bear the Burden of Parenthood

Monday 14th May 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Other

The coalition’s paid parental leave scheme will place an increased burden on small businesses – at a time when they are already heavily constrained by Government red tape, and finding it hard to keep their heads above water, Dr Muriel Newman said.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, employing four out of five New Zealanders. Many small businesses, with only three or four staff, already find it difficult to cope when a new mother takes perhaps six weeks leave. Now this new ‘Government Knows Best’ initiative will ensure that all new mothers are away for three months.

“For the small business, covering a three month leave period will be a struggle. Finding temporary staff, who are prepared to do a job for just a few months, will be difficult. In addition to providing extra training, they will, in all probability, have to pay higher wages to attract short-term replacements. That will significantly increase the financial strain on the businesses.

“All this is an added burden on small businesses already trying to cope with huge heavy-handed measures unilaterally implemented by this Government, namely the Employment Relations Act and changes to Accident Compensation.

“Further, rather than helping women – particularly young women – to get into the workforce, this new proposal may instead discourage employers from hiring them.

“ACT believes the issue of whether paid parental leave should be provided is an employment matter between individual employers and their employees. It should not be a taxpayer responsibility. Having a child is a matter of personal choice. Such a decision is the responsibility of parents, not taxpayers.

“The paid parental leave proposals are just another example of this Government interfering in the family, and regulating away people’s individual freedom and sense of responsibility,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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