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More Discriminatory Legislation In The Statutes

ACT Employment Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman says today will mark the sad passing into law of yet another piece of ill considered, hastily drafted and discriminatory legislation from this Government.

"The new paid parental leave law is flawed and introduces huge inequities in how the state treats parents. This is a new level of discrimination.

"The legislation provides eligibility for a social welfare benefit based not on need, but employment status. It is grossly unfair that someone who is in paid employment receives this benefit - but a self-employed person doesn't.

"It was unwise to attempt to provide a social welfare benefit through employment law. There may be a number of unintended and adverse consequences. For example, there could be a reticence to employ women of childbearing age. There may be disadvantages for employers who may face delays as new mothers wait to decide wether or not they will return to work after giving birth. Such delays would add to the costs of small businesses.

"The Government's decision to rush through this legislation says many things about its approach.

"It shows clearly that this Government is not interested in producing carefully though out legislation. And it is not interested in giving all New Zealander's equal treatment," Dr Newman said.


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