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Greens To Move Three Amendments To PPL Bill

Green Labour and Employment Spokesperson Sue Bradford today said the Greens will move three amendments to the Government's paid parental leave legislation when it comes into the House next week.

Speaking during the second reading debate in Parliament this afternoon, Ms Bradford said the Greens will move SOPs seeking to extend the amount of paid leave from 12 to 14 weeks, to ensure that workers who have more than one employer still qualify for paid leave, and to ensure women on paid leave do not incur interest on their student loans and do not have to make loan repayments for the duration of the leave.

"The Greens really welcome the introduction of this legislation and we applaud the efforts of Laila Harre in making this happen," said Ms Bradford.

"However from the Green perspective what is provided for in this legislation is the bare minimum that doesn't even meet the ILO requirement of 14 weeks paid leave. As a result we will be seeking to strengthen and extend the legislation."

Ms Bradford said that with the level of paid leave so low it was unreasonable to expect students to continue to make student loan repayments and it was also unfair for parents to incur debt during the period when they were off work.

"We also think workers who might work more than one job and have more than one employer during the year should qualify for paid parental leave and we will be urging the Government to support our amendment to ensure they do."

Ms Bradford said the Greens were also concerned about the failure of the legislation to address the self employed and would be looking for a commitment from Government to ensure that the 2003 review process will be doing serious work on how paid parental leave could be functionally and effectively achieved for self employed workers in future.

"The Paid Parental Leave Bill is a great start, but we have a long way to go before New Zealand will be on a par with many other developed countries in its treatment of working parents and their children."


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