Paid parental leave rises to 22 weeks

By Jessica Tyson

New Zealand families with newborns can enjoy more time to bond with their babies after paid parental leave increases this Sunday.

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway says, “From 1 July 2018 parents of babies due or delivered on this date will be eligible for 22 weeks of paid leave, up from the current 18 weeks.”

The maximum weekly rate for eligible employees and self-employed parents will also increase from $538.55 to $563.83 gross per week.

The minister says extending paid parental leave will provide greater financial certainty and confidence for working families.

“World Health Organisation guidelines stress the importance of the first six months for babies to breastfeed and bond with parents. The evidence is clear that these six months are crucial for infant development.”

There will be a further increase to 26 weeks from July 2020.