The Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff said new parents have reason to celebrate this Sunday with the increase of paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks.
“Babies born from the 1st of July will get all the benefits of another month at home with the people that love them the most,” he said. “Any new parent or caregiver knows just how fast little babies change and grow, and a month of uninterrupted family time is precious beyond words.”
“The health evidence and the international evidence is very clear – paid parental leave has lifelong benefits for children and actually for everyone in society. New Zealand has fallen way behind other countries in putting children and families first. The move to 22 weeks and 26 weeks in 2020 helps catch us up to a more acceptable leave provision.”
“There is a long way to go before we can say that every child in New Zealand has a family that can afford to spend quality time supporting them to grow into confident, healthy citizens, but every little bit counts so much for our youngest Kiwis. By better valuing the incredibly important unpaid work that parents and caregivers do, we can create the conditions for a happier, better rested and more caring New Zealand.”