Pregnant woman with hand on belly working on laptop

New leave rules coming into effect today

A law change means new rules for parental leave apply from June 2017. Changes include when a new parent can take parental leave payments, and what happens if a baby is born prematurely.

Parents who want to get parental leave payments can choose to first use other types of paid leave they're entitled to, eg:

  • annual leave
  • alternative days
  • special leave
  • time off in lieu

They can choose to start their 18-week parental leave payment period once they have taken other types of paid leave - even if this is after the child's arrival.

Previously the parental leave payment period couldn't start later than the child's arrival.

Parental leave scenarios

 

Remember:

Any eligible working parent can get parental leave payments if they are the permanent primary carer of a child under six.

This applies to employees, including those with non-standard working arrangements such as casual, seasonal, temporary and fixed-term employees, and self-employed people.

Parental leave eligibility tool

 

Premature babies

If a working parent is applying for, or receiving, parental leave payments and their baby arrives before the end of 36 weeks' pregnancy, they are entitled to:

  • preterm baby payments for up to 13 weeks
  • parental leave payments when they go back on parental leave - if it's no later than the original expected due date

If they go back to work for a period between the preterm baby being born and the original expected due date of the baby - other than for their keeping in touch hours - they will lose any remaining entitlement to preterm payments.

However they will still be entitled to up to 18 weeks' parental leave payments - or however many weeks are remaining - if they've stopped work before the original expected due date and if the baby hadn't been born prematurely.

For more information:

Keeping in touch days  Preterm parental leave
   

Source:

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (NZ)

If you would like to contact our payroll and employment expert, Vicki Cozens, she is only a phone call or e-mail away – she'll be happy to assist.