Mitchell on paid parental leave


The private members bill legislating for an increase of taxpayer-funded (PPL) from 14 to 26 weeks is back in parliament today. Bear in mind, if lobbyists get 6 months it’ll only be a matter of time before they want 1 year.

The main argument goes that bonding and breastfeeding are so important they should be encouraged as much as possible.

If you look at how mothers are behaving after a birth most already appreciate that.

NZ statistics analysed data from 2002 -2005 when the provision was for 12 weeks PPL.

Did most mothers return to work when their leave entitlement ran out?


4 months after starting PPL only 12.5 percent were back working – at 5 months, only 33 percent.

30 percent had not returned to work after 18 months.

So very very few mothers go back to work the moment PPL runs out. Hence the arguments about giving more bonding time are over-hyped. An extension will simply be another tax and spend income transfer.

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