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Paid Parental Leave: Self-Employed Still Waiting

5 November 2004

Paid Parental Leave: Self-Employed Still Waiting

Farmers are encouraged by Associate Labour Minister Ruth Dyson's statement that the government will extend paid parental leave to self-employed women, said Charlie Pedersen, Vice President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

"However we are left wondering when – this is the third time the Minister has given this assurance without producing any timetable for the introduction of legislation," Mr Pedersen said.

"Farmers and others running their own business have already been waiting more than two years to receive paid parental leave. That is extremely unfair."

Sharemilkers and young farm owners would benefit from a self-employed paid parental leave scheme, he said.

“Thousands of young self-employed farming couples who currently struggle to run their farms around the birth of their child miss out on paid parental leave. Sharemilkers in the dairy industry are a case in point," Mr Pedersen said.

“If New Zealand taxpayers can afford to fund the cost of paid parental leave, and the government has clearly decided they can, then such leave must be provided equitably."

As a broad principle, Federated Farmers is opposed to paid parental leave. However, as the government has adopted paid parental leave, it should be fair to all working parents, Mr Pedersen said.

ENDS

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