This section brings together basic information about the rights and obligations of employees, employers and self-employed people in respect of parental leave. It contains the current parental leave entitlements, featuring statutory paid parental leave for birth mothers, their partners, as well as adoptive parents.
Changes to parental leave
The Government announced changes to parental leave provisions that came into effect on 1 April 2016. These include:
- The parental leave payment period extended to 18 weeks for a child that is born, expected to be born, or you assume primary care of a child under six years of age on or after 1 April 2016.
- The parental leave payment extended to non-standard workers (such as casual, seasonal, and employees with more than one employer) and those who have recently changed jobs in addition to other employees and self-employed people.
- Entitlements extended to cover all permanent arrangements where the applicant has primary responsibility for the care, development, and upbringing of child under 6 years, including adoption, Home for Life parents, whāngai, grandparents etc from 1 April 2016.
- Paid keeping-in-touch days available for employees on parental leave, by agreement between the employer and employee, from 1 April 2016
- The parental tax credit increased to $220 a week, and the payment period was extended from eight weeks to 10 weeks from 1 April 2015.
- The maximum weekly amount of parental leave payments increased from 1 July 2015
- Additional parental leave payments of up to 13 weeks, are available if a baby is born prematurely before 37 weeks.
- Some terms associated with parental leave have changed, maternity leave has been replaced by primary carer leave, paternity/ partner’s leave has been replaced by partner’s leave.