Increase in Paid Parental Leave

The Labour Government has made key changes to Parental Leave Law in New Zealand and we have updated two documents in our document library to ensure you have legally compliant documents and templates covering all aspects of your employment relationship. You can download the new documents here.

Changes to the document library include:

  • Paid parental leave has increased from 18 weeks to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018.
  • The number of “keeping in touch days” is also set to increase. From 1 July 2018, when paid parental leave is increased to 22 weeks, an employee will be able to work up to 52 hours without losing their entitlement during the period of paid parental leave.
  • Although parental leave payments are administered by the IRD, employers should ensure that their policies and/or information sheets are updated to reflect the changes.
  • Paid parental leave is available to casual, seasonal and fixed-term employees, and those with more than one employer
  • Paid parental leave can be taken by any primary caregiver of the newborn baby
  • Paid parental leave will be available to people who have recently changed jobs
  • Paid parental leave will offer more generous benefits to parents of babies born pre-term
  • Parents are able to resign their positions without losing their entitlements
  • Unpaid parental leave will be able to be taken more flexibly
  • Employees are now able to go back to work for up to 52hours during their paid parental leave

Keeping in touch

The changes also allow people to work up to 52 hours during the 22 weeks of paid parental leave. These hours can be used to keep up with skills development, training, handover or help the parent ease back into work. Keeping in touch days are not compulsory, and can only be used in mutual agreement between an employer and an employee. Additionally, they cannot be used in the first four weeks of a babies birth. This is to protect the baby and mothers health.

Parents of babies born pre-term are eligible for additional Keeping in touch hours, up to an average of three hours per week and don’t need to wait for their baby to be four weeks old before using these hours.

Learn more

Down load the MBIE maternity leave table which clearly explains parental leave entitlements here, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0800 HRtoolkit (0800 47 86 65). We don’t charge for those quick questions, and often a few minutes with our experts is all you will need.