The $1.3 billion parental leave bungle that no one noticed for a decade

New parents have been receiving paid parental leave credits illegally since the scheme’s inception in 2002.

The scheme, a trophy Alliance Party policy in the 1999 election and driven by then-Womens Affairs Minister and Alliance front-bencher Laila Harre, was a big drawcard for both the Alliance and, subsequently, Labour.

The Alliance wanted employers to cover the payments but in a compromise it was decided to fund them by the taxpayer.

Except it now turns out those payments were not legal.


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