17 May 2015

NZ parental leave way below average - report

3:30 pm on 17 May 2015

New Zealand mothers get just over half the OECD average of paid maternity leave.

A report just released by the OECD shows this country gives mothers 14 weeks' paid leave at just under half the average salary.

The OECD average is 17 weeks at two-thirds of the average salary.

The report shows New Zealand is also one of nine OECD countries that offers no paid parental leave to fathers, compared to an OECD average of eight weeks.

Korean fathers get just over a year of paid parental leave, the highest among all the organisation's 34 member states.

Twice as many young women as men not working or studying

The OECD study shows twice as many young New Zealand women than men (between 15 and 29) are neither working nor studying.

The study said the overall rates of work and study participation in New Zealand were higher than the OECD average, but the gender gap was still significant.

A feminist and economist, Prue Hyman, said New Zealand needed to get better at identifying the people who were alienated from the education system and needed to be provided with decent training.

Ms Hyman said the Government also needed to track young women who went off benefits, to ensure they were supported.

The worst rates in the OECD are those of Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Turkey, where two to three times more young women than men are not working or studying.