Parental Leave and Employment and Employment Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave) Amendment Bill
Date Submitted February 2002
Introduction This submission is presented by the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand [HRINZ]. HRINZ is the professional organisation for people who are interested or involved in the management and development of human resources. HRINZ represents the interests of individual members who work in private and public sector organisations throughout New Zealand. There are almost 1700 members working in such organisations around New Zealand. HRINZ provides its members with education and information services, conferences and seminars, publications, representation at government and official levels, and networking opportunities. HRINZ helps members to develop their professional skills and knowledge as human resources practitioners and key decision makers in their organisations.
HRINZ' mission is:
- To encourage and support the development of professional knowledge and competence, and high standards of performance amongst our members;
- To promote understanding of all aspects of human resources management and development, and the contribution they make to organisational and individual performance; and
- To provide an authoritative and influential viewpoint on all matters affecting HRINZ members and the management and development of human resources.
It is not the intention of HRINZ to appear before the Select Committee to speak to this submission.
The general approach of HRINZ' submission has been to examine the Bill to identify the practical issues emanating from the Bill's content and ascertain any matters that require clarification or amendment where necessary.
It is noted that the introduction of Paid Parental Leave falls into line with the general trend in most OECD countries in institution a regime of paid parental leave. HRINZ will be commenting on the Bill generally and in particular upon implementation matters as it is HRINZ members who will be ultimately dealing with the Act and its provisions in the workplace.
HRINZ would wish to see provisions in the Act whereby organisations that already have a paid parental leave regime in place, will have the ability to offset any payment made by the taxpayer against any payment which they might be bound by under their current agreement. There should be some fiscal advantage for organisations that have a paid parental leave regime that provides over and above the provisions set out in this Bill.
HRINZ would wish to see the paid parental leave payment be structured so to encourage women and partners to return to the workforce. A key issue is the loss of talent and intellectual capital to an organisation when a woman or partner proceeds on parental leave. HRINZ therefore would wish to see research to be carried out as to the number of women who proceed on paid parental leave and who do/do not return to employment with their employer.
The Bill as it exists does not require an employee who has proceeded on parental leave to return to the organisation at the end of paid parental leave. It is felt that research carried out after a period of time would assist in clarifying the situation for human resource planning. Should research disclose that many women or partners do not return to employment in the organisation, this then could cause an increase in discrimination against women when applying for jobs.
HRINZ has quite a number of members who are self-employed. Given the increase in disparate methods of employment, HRINZ would wish to see provisions included in the Bill for paid parental leave to be provided for those who are self-employed.