July 1 marks progress for workers and families

Paid parental leave has been extended to 26 weeks. File image/SunLive.

More jobs and more family time with newborns are the centrepiece of a suite of government initiatives coming into effect today.

 “The Coalition Government is making progress on both the long-term challenges we were tackling before COVID-19 hit and our economic response to the global pandemic,” says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The suite of Government initiatives that come into effect today include:

  • Paid parental leave extending to 26 weeks and by $20 more a week
  • Free apprenticeships opening to tens of thousands
  • Pay boost for early childhood teachers kicks in for up to 17,000 qualified teachers
  • Farm Debt Mediation scheme begins operating
  • Cheaper building levy saving homeowners and businesses money

“Since we took office we have increased the amount of paid time new parents get to spend with their babies by eight weeks, demonstrating our commitment to families by removing economic barriers to parents spending those all-important early months with their children,” says Ardern.

“Our early and hard response to COVID-19 means New Zealand is in a good position to get moving faster than other countries.

“But today we also see the foundations we’ve already laid that give us a head-start in our recovery – such as free trades training.”

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says many of the investments announced in Budget 2020 will start to be rolled out from July 1, stimulating the economy as it starts to grow again.

“The government’s plan to recover and rebuild from COVID-19 is focussed on creating jobs. “That’s why these measures in our plan to help businesses access skilled workers, boost building activity and help customers deal with their banks are so important.”

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