March 04, 2016
Whangai part of parental leave plan
Parents who whangai children will be eligible for paid parental leave under changes to the Employments Standards Legislation Bill.
Speaking at the second reading yesterday, Maori Party Co-leader Marama Fox says the minister responsible and the transport and industrial relations committee picked up on her party’s push to recognise traditional adoption.
At present only biological parents and those who have legally adopted children are eligible for paid parental leave.
Ms Fox says raising healthy Maori children requires not just parents who are able and willing to nurture their children, but also a wider social and economic support system which are represented by whangai practices.
Other changes which the Maori Party strongly supports are the extension of paid parental leave from 16 weeks to 18 weeks, and the extra support that will be provided to parents of premature babies.
There is still debate about how zero hours contracts will be treated in the bill.
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