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Govt should deliver four weeks' leave for fathers

CTU Komiti Pasefika media release

8 December 2009

Government should deliver four weeks’ leave for fathers - Komiti Pasefika

The Council of Trade Unions Komiti Pasefika is calling on the Government to implement the recommendations from the Families Commission to provide four weeks’ paid parental leave (PPL) for new fathers.

Komiti Pasefika convenor Jerome Mika says the National Party should act on its previously expressed concerns about child neglect and the appalling rates of child abuse by promoting fatherhood and strengthening families.

"National said a lot about the need to strengthen families and deal with child neglect while it was in opposition. Now they’re in government it’s time to stop paying lip service and start doing something.”

“Paid parental leave has been shown to be affordable and to have genuine benefits for parents who would otherwise struggle to afford time with their new babies, and as the Families Commission report points out this is the most important time for bonding.”

Komiti Pasefika supports the Families Commission recommendation in addition to the other changes that the CTU have called for: access for seasonal and casual workers to the PPL scheme, increasing the duration of PPL for the primary care giver, and increasing the payment levels.

“If we want to build strong families and improve the chances of our young people then it’s time to bring in four weeks’ leave for new dads,” continued Jerome Mika.

“Pacific Island communities have a growing young population and place huge importance on our families. For the minister to simply brush it aside is not acceptable to us and we’re calling on her to give the issue the proper attention it deserves.”

The Komiti Pasefika is a constitutionally recognised body under the umbrella of the New Zealand Council of Trades Unions with members from the Tongan, Cook Island, Niuean, Samoan, Tuvaluan, Tokelauan and Fijian communities.

ENDS

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