New Zealand increases paid parental leave to 26 weeks

New Zealand increases paid parental leave to 26 weeks

The New Zealand government has increased paid parental leave entitlement to 26 weeks, from 1 July.

The parental leave enhancement will give new parents an additional four weeks of leave, up from 22 weeks. The maximum weekly payment will also increase by $20 (£10.43) per week.

Each year, the parental leave payment is adjusted to reflect the rise in the average wage, meaning that from 1 July 2020, eligible employees will see an increase in the parental leave payment from $585.80 (£305.42) per week to $606.46 (£316.20) per week.

The minimum rate for self-employed employees will also increase to $189.00 (£98.54) per week, equal to 10 hours of the adult minimum wage.

In May 2020, it was announced that some employees could go back to work temporarily, for up to 12 weeks, to assist during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic without losing their remaining entitlement to parental leave.

Iain Lees-Galloway, workplace relations and safety minister, said: “Parents with children due on or after 1 July [2020] will now be eligible for 26 weeks of paid parental leave. This is a full six months of leave to support them and their child’s first months of life.”

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“Paid parental leave supports parents to take time away from work during the early months of a newborn’s life, or for a child under six that has recently come into their care. It is vital that we continue to support this.

“The government is committed to making sure that families and parents are supported when they need it. Along with the bump in paid parental leave, we have implemented a wide range of support for parents. This includes boosting the working for families payments and the best start payment, which provides financial support for all families with a newborn baby.”