Father who was denied paid parental leave abandons son

  • 15/06/2018
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A father who was denied paid parental leave after his partner died during labour, has abandoned the baby and left him in care.

Keith Falconer made headlines in May when he revealed he was not entitled to paid parental leave because his partner had not worked for 12 months before she died. She was not entitled to parental leave so it could not be transferred to him.

At the time Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said Mr Falconer would be paid a one-off ex-gratia payment that would be the same as the paid parental leave.

Joanne Manera, a relative of Falconer’s deceased partner told Stuff she was looking after the baby along with two other of the partner’s children.

Mr Falconer told Stuff in an email he was struggling to cope, saying it was the hardest thing he had done.

"Every day I think about my son and what has happened; it makes me very sick every day. Did I take on too much? Who knows, have there been mistakes made while handling this situation - yes."

He claimed he had not received the money.

George Mason from MBIE told Stuff the offer was contingent on Mr Falconer establishing his circumstances were the same as other New Zealanders who were eligible for paid parental leave.