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A-G: Quality Time With Newborns Inclusive

A-G: Quality Time With Newborns Inclusive
July 15
10:13 2018

Both parents will now have their fair share of spending quality time with their newborn children after amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2007 were enacted in Parliament on Thursday.

Speaking on the motion, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum said having children was a natural part of life and parents shouldn’t be deprived of spending time with their newborn children.

The Employment Relations Budget Amendment Bill 2018 provides that maternity leave be substituted with parental leave and mothers’ entitlement to maternal leave be increased from 84 to 98 days.

This also applies to defacto relationships.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added that the new law would entitle husbands or male partners to five days leave to help their partners.

“Children rearing is not the responsibility of the mother alone. It requires the engagement of both parents in the nurturing of children. There is a need for inclusive values in modern Fiji,” he said.

SODELPA Opposition MP Jiosefa Dulakiverata said the amendments to the Act would have an impact on productivity in workplaces around Fiji.

He added it would make employers selective in recruitment processes.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa said it was sad for Opposition to criticise amendments to the Act and the role of nurturing a newborn child should be vested in male partners too.

Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate said the decision to grant paternity leave was fabulous.

“This will give the opportunity for both parents to spend quality time with their newborn children. All parents will be thanking the FijiFirst Government on this move,” he said.

Edited by Epineri Vula

arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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