Just 22% of New Zealand employers offer parental leave on equal terms


Just over a fifth (22%) of respondents who are working fathers based in New Zealand say their employer offers parental leave on equal terms to their female counterparts, according to research by Hays.

Its survey of 173 employees in New Zealand, which comprised 53% women and 47% men, also found that 33% of respondents perceive parental leave as the responsibility of the mother.

The research also found:

  • 53% of respondents who are fathers fear that taking parental leave could lead others to question their commitment to their job.
  • 30% of respondents state that the men in their organisation rarely take the parental leave they are entitled to.
  • 37% of respondents say that men within their organisation only take some of the parental leave they are entitled to.

Jason Walker, managing director at Hays, New Zealand, said: “To help make real and lasting gender equality progress, we need to talk in terms of ‘family-friendly’ rather than ‘woman-friendly’ policies and offer and accept the decision of men to work flexibly and take an equal amount of paternity leave.

“While there are many examples of men in New Zealand who are taking on the primary caring role, a stigma remains. To help reduce this, employers can encourage male employees to take parental leave.”