13 February 2002
Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson told the Parliamentary select committee considering legislation for paid parental leave that the Bill has overwhelming support from workers and was long overdue.
“But it still does not go far enough for New Zealand to comply with the ILO standard of a minimum of 14 weeks,” he said.
Ross Wilson said the CTU also had concerns at the amount workers would receive while on leave and the eligibility barriers would prevent many women workers from getting paid leave.
“While it is good that the lowest paid will receive 100% of earnings, with the cap set at just over the minimum wage, some workers will simply not be able to afford to take leave,” he said.
“Nine out of 10 full-time workers will actually face a drop in income to go on parental leave.”
Ross Wilson expressed concerns also that over a third of woman workers and nearly as many male workers fell outside the current eligibility criteria.
“Many part-time, and most casual and seasonal workers, will not qualify,” he said.