Extending paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 will be better for babies’ health which is better for us all in the long-term, socially and financially, says TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.
McNabb is calling on politicians to support MP Sue Moroney’s new member’s bill to extend paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks. The bill also provides for parents to return to work for a set amount of time without losing their paid parental leave entitlement.
McNabb says 26 weeks (or six months) is the amount of time the World Health Organisation recommends babies be breastfed to protect their health and development.
“Parents, and especially breastfeeding mothers, should be able to spend the critical first six months with their babies,” McNabb says many families simply cannot afford to spend six months with their new-born baby without the support of paid parental leave.
“New Zealand’s paid parental leave entitlement is less than other comparable OECD countries. Kiwi parents are missing out on the opportunity to bond with their babies, and to give them the best, healthiest start to life.”