Labour to bypass select committee on paid parental leave

Stuff reports:

provisions will be progressively increased to 26 weeks by July 2020.

Prime Ardern made the announcement on Monday as part of the new government’s 100-day plan.

“Cabinet today decided to increase the duration of parental leave entitlements to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018, extending further to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020,” she said. …

The current entitlement is up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave, one of the lowest allowances in the OECD. Legislation to allow the increase will be introduced to Parliament under urgency on Wednesday. …

The bill is largely the same one drawn up by former MP Sue Moroney, which gained a parliamentary majority but was blocked by former Finance Bill English at the last hurdle using his financial veto in 2016.

It had been “well-canvassed and supported by all parties” other than National and ACT back then, and would not be required to be put through a select committee process for a third time. 

So is going to use urgency to bypass the select committee process. There is no need to do that with a start date of 1 July, so one can only presume they don’t want scrutiny of the decision.

chief executive Kirk Hope said the policy was positive and would be welcomed by parents but acknowledged it would be difficult for some firms.

One of the challenges smaller would face was in managing staff.

“It’s challenging for smaller businesses to manage when people decide not to return [to work] and they’re only going to know that at the end of the period,” he said.

Hope said international research suggested the longer the period, the fewer mothers returned to the workforce.

A select committee process would allow that international research to be scrutinised.

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