Chamber critical of ‘reckless’ parental leave trial suggestion
A SUGGESTED year-long trial of an increase in the number of parental leave days given to employees has been branded ‘reckless’ by the Chamber of Commerce.
The organisation’s vice-president, John Shenton, made the comments following calls from Deputy Louise Doublet that mothers and fathers of newborns should be given 52 weeks off work, rather than the current 26.
Fresh proposals to increase the parental leave for new parents have been lodged by Social Security Minister Judy Martin.
However, the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel has lodged an amendment to the proposition to keep the number of days the same, citing concerns over the impact that the entitlement could have on businesses.
Mr Shenton said the current 26-week entitlement should be maintained and the situation reviewed after six months.
‘It is clear that Deputy Doublet acknowledges that many businesses will struggle with what the minister is proposing, but “giving something a go” without fully understanding the consequences is reckless and not an approach to the economy we would advocate,’ he said.
‘It would be better to support the Scrutiny panel amendment to allow parental leave for six months but review this after a year, rather that proposing a review one year after damaging the economy, particularly following the telling indications highlighted in the latest Fiscal Policy Panel report.’
Mr Shenton added that he found it disappointing that the law was being debated before a full assessment on what impact the move could have on social security benefits, future pension and benefit entitlements had been explored and determined.
He said: ‘We would have wanted to see the cost to the employers with the proposed social security rises only being introduced when the proposals were in final form, rather than agreeing the law but having to delay its implementation through the Appointed Day Act mechanism until the second part has been lodged and debated next year.’
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