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If you’re planning to take maternity leave (also known as parental leave) to care for your new baby, ideally you should notify your employer as soon as possible so that they can prepare for your absence. In most cases the minimum requirement for giving your employer notice is 3 months written notice before commencing parental leave.

What to include in your maternity leave letter

In your maternity leave letter (parental leave letter), you are required to give notice to your employer in writing. In your letter requesting parental leave, you need to include:

  • What type of leave you want
  • When you want the leave to start, and how long the period of leave will be.

If you are sharing any part of your leave with your spouse/partner, the letter must also say:

  • The dates on which you and your spouse/partner plan to start and finish each period of leave
  • Your spouse/partner’s name and, if they are an employee, the name and address of their employer
  • That you and your spouse/partner are both eligible for the leave you are applying for
  • That the total amount of leave you and your spouse/partner are taking will not be more than 52 weeks (not counting any partner’s/paternity leave taken).

You should also include a medical certificate confirming your pregnancy and your expected due date with your maternity leave letter.

For more information see Maternity Leave Policy or for application forms and sample letters visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.