A select committee has failed to agree on a bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks.
Labour MP Sue Moroney's bill extends paid leave from the 18-week entitlement that came into force this month.
Parliament voted to send the bill to a select committee in September after Labour gained the support of the Greens, New Zealand First, United Future and the Maori Party.
However, Labour MP and committee chair Ruth Dyson said the three National MPs on the committee voted against the legislation.
"The National members I think are just voting on instructions from higher up the food chain. I imagine if it was a personal vote they may well have supported it."
Ms Dyson said the bill would now return to a vote in the house, and she doesn't expect National will use its power of financial veto to shoot it down.