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Parental Leave Bill Gets General Support

The Government’s bill extending parental leave has received the support of all parties, but the Opposition say it does not go far enough.

Simon Bridges said the Budget Measures (Financial Support for Newborn Children) Bill would give greater parental leave assistance.

The paid parental leave improvements include increasing the length of paid parental leave to 18 weeks, up from the current 14 weeks. This will happen in two steps – to 16 weeks on 1 April 2015 and then to 18 weeks on 1 April 2016

The Bill would fix difficulties with the current arrangements as part of a suite of measures to address parental leave and parental tax credits.

Apart from the bill the Government would be looking at making parental leave more flexible and would consult on these, he said.

Labour’s David Parker said National was taking part in the “great brain robbery” as they were stealing Labour’s ideas but implementing a shadow of it.

Labour currently has a member’s bill before the House proposing 26 weeks paid parental leave.

The bill completed its first reading on a voice vote with MPs to move to the second reading immediately.

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