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Paid Parental Leave Select Committee Meets

Minister of Women’s Affairs and Associate Minister of Labour, Laila Harré, today welcomed the first meeting of the parliamentary select committee on the Paid Parental Leave Bill.

“My office is already receiving a steady stream of inquiries. Parents are becoming more aware of their existing parental leave entitlements, as well as those proposed by the Government,” Ms Harré said.

The Bill before the select committee will provide eligible parents with paid parental leave where children are born, due, or adopted on or after 1 July 2002.

“Operational planning is proceeding apace. Application forms and other information about paid parental leave will be available shortly after the passage of the Bill,” Ms Harré added.

The first payments will include back pay for women who have already commenced their leave. Payments will be made fortnightly into bank accounts.

The Employment Relations Service of the Department of Labour will be informing employers and maternity providers of the details of the application process as soon as the bill is enacted. This is expected in mid April.

Application forms and other information will be available from the Employment Relations Service. Trained staff at its Infoline Centre (phone 0800 800 863) are available to assist both applicants and employers to understand their existing entitlements and obligations, and to advise on the progress of the Bill.

Ends

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