26 Jul 2012

Campaigners pushing for more paid parental leave

7:45 pm on 26 July 2012

Campaigners for extending paid parental leave are vowing to keep pressure on the Government not to veto it.

A campaign to maintain momentum on the issue was launched at Parliament on Thursday, the morning after a bill extending leave from 14 to 26 weeks passed its first reading.

The bill - sponsored by Labour MP Sue Moroney - now goes to a select committee for consideration, but Finance Minister Bill English says it's unaffordable and he'll use his veto powers to strike it down at its last reading.

The 26 Weeks for Babies campaign says although the Government is promising to veto the move before it becomes law, it needs to pay attention to the debate.

Campaign manager Deborah Morris-Travers says there are big social and economic benefits that come out of supporting parents to stay at home longer with their babies.

She says the Government needs to pay attention to the debate, "because one of the things that is contributing to poor outcomes is a societal cultural malaise when it comes to the well-being of our children. So let's have the debate."

Parents at the launch said 26 weeks' paid parental leave would make a big difference to their families.