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Nurses Organisation welcomes paid parental leave

November 7, 2001

Nurses Organisation welcomes paid parental leave

The Nurses Organisation (NZNO) welcomes the introduction of 12 weeks' paid parental leave and believes it is long overdue.

The public health sector is currently short of around 2000 nurses. NZNO believes paid parental leave is an employment condition that will assist recruit and retain nurses.

"Women's work has traditionally been under-valued in New Zealand," NZNO president Jane O'Malley said. "Paid parental leave is one important way of valuing what women do."

NZNO supports a review of the funding level one year after implementation. "At present the level of payment is not set at the level of a woman's previous earnings and is below the average male wage," O'Malley said.

NZNO believes payment will increase the uptake of parental leave entitlements to the benefit of nurses and their families, and the families nurses work with.

"Nurses believe parenting and raising children is not simply an individual choice but also a societal responsibility. Paid parental leave provides one opportunity to make a positive difference to the health of families," O'Malley said.

The Government should be congratulated on its paid parental leave scheme, which is a first step towards fulfilling the International Labour Organisation's recommendation of 14 weeks' paid parental leave, O'Malley said.

For further information, contact NZNO president Jane O'Malley on 025-937-159

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