Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Celebrating International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women's Day Greater flexibility in Bill for working parents

A Bill making working life easier and more bearable for working parents of young and disabled children has been drawn up by Green Party MP and Women's spokesperson Sue Kedgley.

"The pressure of trying to work fulltime and care for young children at the same time is putting a huge strain on families and young children," Ms Kedgley said. "It is in everyone's interests that we help parents with young or disabled children to live more balanced lives.

"My Employment Relations (Flexible Working Hours) Amendment Bill will give employees with young and dependent children the right to request reduced, part-time or flexible hours. Employers will have a legal duty to consider any such request seriously, and must be able to demonstrate good reasons for a refusal."

The Bill will apply to parents of children aged under five, and parents of disabled children aged up to 18.

"It will not only make life better and more enriching for parents and children, but will also benefit employers," Ms Kedgley said. "Overseas studies show that family-friendly strategies in the workplace reduce staff turnover and recruitment costs. They also reduce absentee rates, and improve morale, employee loyalty and workplace productivity. Greater flexibility will enable parents who would otherwise leave the labour market to remain in employment after their parental leave."

Ms Kedgley said the announcement was timely, as today [8 March] is International Women's Day. "Women in particular are often the main caregivers of children, and are frequently burdened with the stress of doing both paid work and the bulk of the domestic labour," she said.

Under the Bill, employees who have worked for the same employer for at least six months may apply to work reduced or flexible hours. They will make their requests in writing, setting out the working patterns they want, and showing how it could be made to work. Employers will have to undertake a formal business assessment of how such flexible working could be achieved.

"Where cases can't be resolved in the workplace, binding mediation and arbitration will be available, as will the opportunity for an employee to go to the Employment Tribunal. However, hopefully recourse to mediation and arbitration will be rare, as this Bill really provides a win-win scenario," Ms Kedgley said.

The Bill is currently awaiting selection from the private member's ballot. It is based on successful legislation which comes into effect next month in the United Kingdom.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news