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Employers back Paid Parental

Written By: - Date published: 12:36 pm, April 13th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: bill english, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

So Bill English wants to make history and be the first to use the financial veto on a whole piece of legislation. It’s only ever been used before on amendments, usually added by oppositions to make a political point. Not on an actual fully-fledged piece of policy, that most of a sovereign parliament will back.

But it seems he’s even getting flack from those he is used to supporting him – including the Employers and Manufacturers Union Association.

Family First are big supporters of traditional values, so are keen that measures that allow women to stay at home are adopted. Good to see that their general National inclination isn’t stopping them put their oar in.

And the experts agree – this would be good for families, parent-bonding, and good for children (that’s future taxpayers in your language Bill). Even the PM’s Science advisor says there’s no argument on the science. It may even save money in the long run, as better brought up kids have fewer costs down the line.

But where Bill probably most expected support from was employers. This isn’t actually an extra cost for them – it’s a government benefit – but more women will probably take longer off work as a maternity break.


Employers and Manufacturers Association employment services manager David Lowe said most people took six to 12 months off when they had a baby.

Those who did come back at 14 weeks usually did so because of financial constraints and were often “unsettled”.

A longer period of paid parental leave would be better for those parents and employers would generally not mind, he said.

In my experience an awful lot of women do go back at 14 weeks – I think “most people” taking 6-12 months off is a bit optimistic. Mums usually don’t want to go back, but financial pressures drive them back to work (with heart often not fully in the job), and their babies into (government subsidised) childcare.

If a sovereign parliament agree that this policy will bring a Brighter Future to New Zealand, with happier kids and parents, who are a lonely National Party to veto that future?

43 comments on “Employers back Paid Parental ”

  1. Rusty Shackleford 1

    Of course they back it. It’s one less thing they have to pay for.

    • McFlock 1.1

      Rusty, what cost does it relieve them of to become “one less thing they have to pay for”?

      • Rusty Shackleford 1.1.1

        Paid parental leave should be something the employee and employer negotiate during the contract phase.

        • McFlock

          Yeah, that’s likely /sarc
          So the change doesn’t actually relieve them of any cost they’re currently paying now? No real cost benefit to the employer in changing it one way or the other?

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Most people in NZ don’t work for $2 an hour as your worldview would dictate. Most people have skills they can leverage gain better wages and conditions. Some employers currently pay for parental leave, this would take that responsibility off those employers.

            • McFlock

              Some employers currently pay for parental leave, this would take that responsibility off those employers. 
              Really? Which employer? Any employer that currently pays for parental leave (not leave without pay) beyond the minimum is either remarkably community-minded or held over a barrel by their employees. Both are equally rare. My employer is actually pretty good with the conditions, and provides a full year of parental leave – unpaid. Your employers that provide paid parental leave must be rare as hen’s teeth.


              • Sookie

                Ahem, my employer provides 3 months on full pay due to almost universal union membership and being generally decent, but that’s rare. Not that I’ll bother taking advantage of it. Aside from my personal reasons for thinking kids are a pain in the arse, I think NZ is a hostile place to bring up kids financially. Only the US is meaner. So I’m another educated 30 something refusing to breed.

                • “Hostile” is unfair. There are still numerous subsidies to having kids, not to mention social pressures into doing so as well.

                  While we should be trying to make life excellent for the kids we do have, I want people to actually be discouraged from having more than two kids. World overpopulation is already very bad.

          • Colonial Viper

            “The employee shall obtain written permission for a pregnancy from the employer, which may be witheld without explanation, prior to becoming pregnant. Failure to gain written authorisation before conception may be considered serious misconduct by the employee and would be grounds for instant dismissal without notice.”

            Rusty’s dream land this is…

            • Rusty Shackleford

              You really are a deep thinker Vipe.

              • rosy

                “You really are a deep thinker Vipe.”

                So says the person who knows only the Austrian School philosophy. Even though some bits of the playbook were missed – like the right to sell your children… now there’s a thought….

                • Rusty Shackleford

                  What makes you think I know only one school of philosophy? And what does a link to Rothbard’s wikipedia page have to do with “selling children”?

                  • rosy

                    “What makes you think I know only one school of philosophy?”
                    Because most/all of your debate is based on the Austrian School of Economics. I’ll conceded there might be some Rand in there too (not that I can see the difference).

                    “And what does a link to Rothbard’s wikipedia page have to do with “selling children”?”

                    …. He suggested parents have the right to put a child out for adoption or even sell the rights to the child in a voluntary contract, which he feels is more humane than artificial governmental restriction of the number of children available to willing and often superior parents.

                    • Rusty Shackleford

                      Can you link to the exact work where he does this? I’m sure it exists. Having said that, what is the difference between letting the parents have that right and letting the state have that right?

                    • rosy

                      It’s in “The Ethics of Liberty”.

                      The State facilitates adoptions, it doesn’t have the right to sell children. It can also work to improve parent-child interactions and outcomes, which is part of the reasoning behind paid parental leave for 26 weeks.

                  • Rusty Shackleford

                    Rosy, in my interactions with you, I’ve found you to be, upon all occasions, an intellectually honest person. I know you hold misguided beliefs, but from what I have seen you say, I wouldn’t hold you to be a malicious or purposely disingenuous person. This being the case, I find it dis-satisfying in the least, that you would implicitly defend such a character as the purposely disingenuous viper.

                    He has on more than one occasion advocated violence and brazenly espouses policies that are detrimental to the majority of free people. I would hope that we are both on the side of freedom and liberty, ways of life of which the viper has consistently and vehemently disposed himself to be happily in opposition of.

                    • rosy

                      Oh Rusty, I don’t for a minute believe that you’d support such and autocratic statement as CV wrote. That’s not in line with your sense of freedom.

                      However there is a point in CV’s statement that there is little chance that people can come to satisfactory agreements when there is a massive power imbalance. I don’t think the world is quite ready for absolute freedom in the way I’ve seen it defined by your theorists. ‘Agreements’ based on power imbalances are coercive and lead to reduced freedoms for the weaker party IMO.

                    • fender

                      Disingenuous = “brazenly espouses policies that are detrimental to the majority of free people.”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I would hope that we are both on the side of freedom and liberty…

                      Except that you’re not on that side – you’re on the side of the oppressors but you’re so stupid that you don’t realise it.

  2. bbfloyd 2

    this would qualify as “far sighted” legislation…..which, as you would be well aware, is legislation that won’t show any obvious benefit for years…..

    at this point, the national party would be unable to cope with the demands on their intellects created by thinking through the time lines, and seeing the obvious savings in lower police, health, social services costs from having todays children growing up connected to their families/ communities in ways that are fast disappearing as a result of adherence to “pure” economics…

    in other words… national, and it’s hangers on are genetically unable to comprehend that attacking the nuclear family in order to isolate units of consumption( members of families) so that profits can be maximised while lowering the cost brainwashing said units to accept built in obsolescence as a natural development…once saturation point was reached …. is actually the opposite of a survival tool……

    sadly… i understand why this government? can’t see the upside to this legislation….. it a) benefits the many, and b) it may well remove many of their best political weapons….

  3. Rusty Shackleford 3

  4. captain hook 4

    if you listen to the right wing nutters around here one would think that everybody in the world was mean and vicious and grasping just like them.
    somehow their behaviour is just not rational.

  5. (A different) Nick K 5

    This policy will take a year or so to pass and a couple of years to ramp up to the full 26 weeks. Bill English is certainly very confident about the poor outlook for our economy under National if he can claim now that it is unaffordable.

    English seems to have come right out and said that “no matter what long term social benefits or parliamentary or public support for this policy there is no room for compromise or debate because I’ve run the economy into the ground so firmly it’ll take a lot longer than 3 years before we have any cash to spend on making the country better”.

    • felix 5.1

      English has also said he’d veto it regardless of how much it’d cost. His – and National’s – is an ideological objection, not a financial one.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Just for the sake of completeness, Bunji, I notice you omitted this part of Lowe’s quote:

    “However, he acknowledged there were financial constraints on the Government.”

    I don’t think anyone would argue that it isn’t a good thing for parents to have as much time with their new babies as possible. In fact it would be fantastic if both parents were able to have time off with their kids.

    However, there is a cost to the policy, and it needs to be balanced against other priorities. Hell, even a Labour Government might have other priorities for the money, that lefties here might consider more worthwhile than extending paid parental leave.

    I suspect Lowe might have had a different opinion if it were employers being asked to carry the cost.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      However, there is a cost to the policy, and it needs to be balanced against other priorities.

      It’s actually more true to say that other priorities need to be balanced against maintaining the healthy society that PPL would help bring about.

    • bbfloyd 6.2

      “financial constraints on the government”…. absolutely!!! how many billions per year so that the denizens of victoria avenue can send their tax cuts overseas for the better returns?? how many billions to assist fonterra to maximise profits for another three years on top of the subsidies already paid???? how many millions spent cutting us off from the rest of the world??

      as you know, all of that expenditure is absolutely necessary………as it rewards those most deserving of our praise…. what better reason could there be to refuse to be deflected from the attack on the family unit…. the last holdout against unfettered profits….

      your comment lacks even the minimum intellectual vigor….. do you put mogadon in your breakfast cereal?

    • mike e 6.3

      tsm financial constraints is a very weak argument.
      The Nact Government can find $189 million per annum for consultants to replace the $20 million cost for public servants, plus the $259 million for redundancies.
      this misogynist myopic bunch of idiots who are in charge of running our country need tossing out

    • QoT 6.4

      I want to live in your world, tsmith. A world where someone saying “Ew, I really hate that colour, it’s really low quality to pay full price, and the cut is so unflattering – oh but obviously if you like it that’s great!” is actually a supportive comment, not ass-covering.

  7. ianmac 7

    Right on cue is the way that the Economy being the biggest consideration for every suggestion which could act for better social outcomes.
    A pity than money blocks better outcomes for prisoners, or kids in need of learning help, or preventative health care.
    How have we descended to drag out the constant wail “Show me the money,” as a response to every good bluddy idea!

    • tsmithfield 7.1

      It seems to me that lefties like to play the game “Wouldn’t it be great if…. so lets fund it.”

      Here is my contribution.

      Wouldn’t it be great if all children could have private tuition. It would improve educational outcomes by X. So lets fund it.

      • bbfloyd 7.1.1

        funny that your most sensible statements come out when you’re attempting to be sarcastic… or attempting to portray an idiots opinion…….. very freudian….

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        Wouldn’t it be great if all children could have private tuition. It would improve educational outcomes by X. So lets fund it.

        Don’t be daft tsmithfield, you know that the only children who deserve the advantages of private tuition are the children of wealthy toffs (or toff wannabes).

        • mike e

          Agreed CV for economies to thrive you need to bring every body with you neglecting those who can,t afford an education is nothing more than abuse!
          Private schools do not provide a better education quite the reverse the elite already are at a hugr advantage but you’d expect private schools to out perform state schools by a wide margin but rarely do even match their state counterparts !
          The only area they outperform state schools is in the elite networks they form guaranteeing we get idiots for boss’s and idiots in our elitist right wing parties.

  8. David H 8

    Bill English couldn’t give a flying fuck about costs or anything else. He has said no, and no it will be, even if he has to jump up and down and stamp his little feetsies!!!!

  9. Balanced View 9

    Can anyone point to any studies that clearly demonstrate benefits to extending paid maternity leave?

  10. Dv 10

    the under ling theme is that you should not had children until you can afford them.
    In principle I a gree with this
    We had our kid in our 20s, our children have their kids in their thirties.
    Student loans, housing cost low incomes all feed into the change in fertility.

    The paid parental leave might help.

    The other point is that the proposal will, as i believe, phase in over several years and not be fully implemented until after we are supposed to be back in surplus.
    So how come it is not affordable?

    • fender 10.1

      “So how come it is not affordable?”

      Because stubborn, backward, ulterior motive, dictatorship wannabes are in charge of our country. These fools are not interested in the long term future of NZ or its people, and the saddest thing of all is that they have many followers who are too thick or lazy to see where they are “leading” us.

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