Under current legislation, eligible employees in New Zealand are entitled to 22 weeks paid parental leave, paid by the New Zealand government.
Employers are not required to provide women with any paid maternity leave. New Zealand employers are only required to provide extended leave to eligible employees who have worked 6 months or 12 months prior to taking parental leave. See Parental Leave Entitlements.
Of course, many employers understand the benefit of providing paid maternity leave to attract and retain great employees. Other employers may offer their employees with a bonus to encourage them to return to work.
22 weeks parental leave payment
Currently, 22 weeks of paid parental leave is payable to families. The payment is made by the New Zealand Government and not employers. (This will increase to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020).
Generally, 22 weeks of paid parental leave will be for mothers of a newborn child or the parent of an adopted child. This payment can be transferred to the spouse or partner.
To get the payment, you must:
- be the primary carer of a new baby (or assumed care of a child under 6)
- be in paid work
- have worked for at least an average of 10 hours a week, over any 26 of the 52 weeks just before the birth (this does not have to be the same employer).
- Casual and self-employed employees are also eligible. Check the eligibility criteria here.
How much will I get paid from the Parental Leave Payment ?
If you are eligible under the Parental Leave Payment scheme you can currently receive a weekly payment which is the greater of your ordinary weekly pay or your average weekly income, up to a maximum weekly amount of $564.38 before tax.
Will I be able to get both parental leave and employer-provided paid leave?
Yes, you will be able to get both employer-provided and Government Paid Parental Leave.
You can take Paid Parental Leave before or after employer-provided paid leave or at the same time as employer-provided leave.
Can I still get the parental tax credit and claim the 22 week paid parental leave?
If you are receiving payments under the Paid Parental Leave Scheme, you will not receive a parental tax credit (except in the case of twins or multiple births).
Changes to parental leave
As changes to parental leave happen from time to time, stay up to date by checking the governments Employment New Zealand website.
Last updated May 2019
Last Published* March, 2023
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.