Maternity leave entitlements

If you're currently working during your pregnancy, it's important to think about what you're going to when you have your baby. There's lots of factors that influence the decision of when, or if, you return to work, but understanding your entitlements is the place to begin.

If you are an employee, having a baby means that you have certain entitlements related to leave.

Parental leave

In New Zealand, men and women are able to take time off work, without having to resign, to care for their child during the first year of its life. The parental leave entitlement can be shared - find out more here.

You are eligible for parental leave if you have either worked for the same employer for an average of at least 10 hours a week (including at least one hour in every week or 40 hours in every month) in the six or 12 months prior to the babys expected due date or the date you have assumed the care of a child you intend to adopt.

There are different entitlements available to employees depending on whether they meet the six or 12 month criteria.

To calculate if you are entitled to parental leave, click here.

Unpaid and Paid Parental leave entitlements

Parental leave includes the following types of leave (some of which can be shared with your spouse/partner if they are also eligible).

Paid maternity leave of 16 continuous weeks may start up to six weeks before the expected date of birth or adoption (or earlier if necessary). Special leave (eg for ante natal appointments) of up to 10 days can be taken. Partner/paternity leave can also be taken - its duration dependent on the length of service.

Extended leave of up to 52 weeks is available (and can be shared by both eligible parents).

Special leave of up to 10 days is available to a mother before maternity leave for reasons connected with pregnancy.

Partner's/paternity leave of either one or two weeks (depending on eliglble service) is available and can be extended in certain circumstances.

For full details , visit the Department of Labour website.

Applying for leave

Apply in writing, at least 3 months prior to the due date (this varies for adoption) stating what type of leave you want, the start date and the duration. If you are sharing the leave with your spouse/partner you need to state the dates they are planning leave, their name and the name and address of their employer. You also need to state that you are both eligible for the leave and that you will not be taking more than 52 weeks.

Include a certificate (or copy) of the babys due date from the doctor or midwife. Your spouse/partner will need a written declaration from you stating that they are your spouse/partner and they will share the care of the child.

For full details , visit the Department of Labour website.




This article was written  Kidspot. Sources include The Department of Labour

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