Parental leave changes ‘good news for employers’

grandparent with babyNewsHub 31 March 2016
Family First Comment: Good!
“It’ll cover CYF home-for-life parents, it’ll cover grandma and granddad who take the primary, permanent responsibility for the care of a child — not grandma and granddad who just look after them in the day.”

Employers should welcome tomorrow’s changes to paid parental leave, according to one employment lawyer.

Jennifer Mills says despite the changes being overwhelmingly good for employees and new parents, bosses should get in right behind them.

From tomorrow, paid parental leave:
will extend from 14 to 18 weeks
will be available to casual, seasonal and fixed-term employees, and those with more than one employer
can be taken by caregivers other than the newborn’s parents
will be available to people who recently changed jobs
will offer more generous benefits to parents of babies born pre-term.

Ms Mills says the winners include: “Employees who have recently changed jobs, casual workers, seasonal workers, fixed-term employees, employees who have multiple employers, people other than biological parents who have the primary and permanent responsibility for the care of a child under six, and also carers of pre-term babies.”

Unpaid leave will also be able to be taken flexibly, allowing workers to ease their way back into work without losing future entitlements.

There are now also ‘Keeping in Touch’ days, which let employees go back to work for up to 40 hours a week during their paid leave.

“These hours could be used to keep up with skills development or training or completing a work handover, and can help the parent ease back into work,” reads the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Any primary caregiver of a child will be able to apply for parental leave now too.

“It’s not just a biological mother, the spouse or the partner anymore — it’s anyone who has the primary, permanent responsibility for the care and upbringing of a child under six,” says Ms Mills.

“It’ll cover the whanau arrangements, it’ll cover CYF home-for-life parents, it’ll cover grandma and granddad who take the primary, permanent responsibility for the care of a child — not grandma and granddad who just look after them in the day.”
READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/business/parental-leave-changes-good-news-for-employers-2016033108#axzz44Q6Ii6hX

Parent leave lobby hails rise
NZ Herald 1 April 2016
Parental leave campaigners are welcoming the latest extension of paid leave to 18 weeks, but the Government says it will veto extending it further to six months.

The paid leave increase from 16 weeks to 18 weeks is one of a raft of changes taking effect today including a $25 a week pay rise for beneficiaries with children, $12.50 more in weekly tax credits for low-income working families, a 50c minimum wage increase to $15.25 an hour, 2.7 per cent more in NZ superannuation, higher childcare subsidies and lower ACC levies.

But the sting in the tail is that beneficiaries will now have to look for part-time work of at least 20 hours a week as soon as their youngest children turn 3, down from age 5 at present.

Rebecca Matthews of 26 for Babies, which is campaigning to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks, called for continued increases in line with those from 14 to 16 weeks last April and to 18 weeks today.
READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11614794

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