Paid parental leave extended for some

  • 08/09/2015
Baby (iStock)
Baby (iStock)

Paid parental leave is going to be extended for those with pre-term babies.

It's something ACT leader David Seymour has been pushing for and Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse has agreed.

Mr Seymour had also wanted extended leave for the parents of multiple-birth babies, and those with disabilities.

Mr Woodhouse says assistance is already available for those parents.

"However, I have accepted that for parents of pre-term babies there is an opportunity to provide more assistance," he said on Tuesday.

At present, paid parental leave is 16 weeks and will increase to 18 weeks on April 1 next year.

Parents of pre-term babies will receive an additional week for each week the baby was born before the 37-week gestation period.

For example, a mother who gives birth at 28 weeks would receive nine additional weeks of paid leave, making a total of 27 weeks.

Mr Woodhouse is going to put the change into a bill that's already in the pipeline.

The measure is one of those proposed by Labour MP Sue Moroney when she was trying to get her paid parental leave bill through parliament.

It would have extended all leave to 26 weeks, but she didn't have the numbers to have it passed.

She does now, and the bill is due for its first reading next week.

The government is expected to kill it with a financial veto when it reaches its third reading.

NZN