Maternity leave laws
For most New Zealand employees maternity leave laws (also known as parental leave) are defined by the New Zealand Government in the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
If you have been employed by your current employer for at least 12 months then you will be entitled to 12 months of unpaid leave. You and your partner can split the 12 months unpaid leave which gives you extra flexibility. But you must take the leave as a block, either together, or one at a time. Take a look at Maternity Leave Entitlements for more information on your parental leave entitlements and your obligations as an employee.
Maternity leave for Same Sex Couples
Provided they both meet the 12 month eligibility criteria referred to above,same-sex couples have full parental leave entitlements of 12 months unpaid leave, which can be split between the partners.
Maternity leave for parents who adopt
If you’re planning to adopt a child under six years of age, you are also entitled to parental leave of 12 months of unpaid leave from the date of placement. You are also entitled to split this time with your partner.
Leave for Dads
Under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act , fathers have entitlements to take parental leave as well. Take a look at Paternity Leave.
Employer specific benefits
On top of the 12 months unpaid parental leave, your employer may offer more generous terms and conditions or even paid parental leave. It’s worthwhile checking your employment contract or discussing your arrangements with your employer.
Some employees who are covered by a specific Award or workplace agreement may have slightly different entitlements which exceed those set out by the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act or what’s relevant to their industry.
Maternity Laws in New Zealand
New Zealand Parental Leave information can be found at Department of Labour