Meanwhile, Mr Shearer has confirmed he will go ahead with a reshuffle, either before or after the Christmas break, to give MPs just under two years to get to grips with their portfolios before the election.
"I did say a year ago I'd look at how the year went and fine-tuning what we're doing and that is exactly what I'll be doing."
He would not discuss details, but MPs including Andrew Little and Chris Hipkins have performed well and Mr Little could pick up the employment spokesmanship from Sua William Sio - Labour has chosen jobs as one of its main prongs of attack.
Education is also likely to change hands - Nanaia Mahuta's second child is due in December and it is possible Mr Shearer - a former teacher - could take the spokesmanship for himself at that stage or pass it on to Chris Hipkins.
Mr Hipkins has shown an interest and was recently added to the education team to spearhead Labour's attacks of the handling of schooling in Christchurch.
The comments about Nanaia Mahuta are interesting, and haven't been lost on Cactus Kate who tweeted thus:
Cactus has a point; what would happen to a private sector employer who tried to shift sideways or even backwards an expectant employee?
And as for Andrew Little having "performed well"; the jury is out on that. Mr Little has made some spectacular gaffes in his first year in the job including being unprepared for an Urgent Debate which he himself had sought, and having a very public meltdown on talkback radio. But if David Shearer wants to promote him, who are we to argue?