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For individuals & families
Te hunga takitahi me ngā whānau

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For individuals & families

For individuals & families: As a parent

Paid parental leave

Paid parental leave (PPL) is a government-funded entitlement paid to eligible mothers and other primary carers, such as adoptive parents, Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Home for Life parents, whāngai, grandparents with full-time care, and other permanent guardians.

These payments go towards the loss of income when they take parental leave or stop working to care for:

  • their newborn baby, or,
  • a child under the age of six who is now in their care.

Qualifying for paid parental leave 

From 1 April 2016, PPL payments have been extended to cover more people and work situations. It now includes:

  • more casual and seasonal employees
  • employees with more than one employer, and
  • people who have recently changed jobs.
Care arrangements qualifying for paid parental leave
Up to 31 March 2016 On or after 1 April 2016
Expectant mothers - your baby is expected and born up to 31 March 2016 Expectant mothers - your baby is expected or born on or after 1 April 2016
Spouse or partner - if the mother transfers part or all of her entitlement to you No change
Adoptive parents - taking care of a child under six with a view to adoption Other primary carers such as:
  • adoptive parents
  • CYF Home for Life parents
  • whāngai
  • grandparents with full-time care, and
  • other permanent guardians.
You'll qualify if you have permanent primary responsibility for the care, development and upbringing of a child under six.
Work situations qualifying for paid parental leave
Up to 31 March 2016 On or after 1 April 2016
You have worked for:
  • at least 10 hours per week, or
  • no less than one hour every week with no less than 40 hours in every month
for the same employer during the 6 or 12 months preceding the expected date of delivery or adoption of a child.
You have worked for at least an average of 10 hours per week for at least any 26 of the 52 weeks up to your due date or date the child comes into your care. This can be for one employer or a combination of employers even if there were periods where you did not work.
You have been self-employed for at least 6 or 12 months at the due date of birth or adoption and you've worked an average of at least 10 hours per week, during this qualifying period. You have been self-employed for at least an average of 10 hours per week for at least any 26 of the 52 weeks up to your due date or date the child comes into your care.
If you resign or cease self-employment while on PPL, or a fixed-term contract ends, your entitlement will cease. If you resign or cease self-employment instead of taking leave, or while you’re on PPL, your entitlement won't be affected.

Find out more about eligibility on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's website or call them on 0800 20 90 20.

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Applying for paid parental leave 

You can apply for PPL:

  • before your baby's birth
  • after your baby has been born (up until the first birthday)
  • when the child has come into your care or at any time up until the child has been in your care for 12 months.

You must apply before you return to work for any employer or self-employment (whichever is earlier). Your start date can't be later than your baby's date of birth or expected due date, or the date the child arrives in your care. If you apply after this date, or after the 18 weeks have finished, we'll back-pay your entitlement as a lump sum. 

You'll need to complete a Paid parental leave (PPL) application (IR880) form and include:

  • a declaration from your employer, chartered accountant or tax advisor, or
  • a statutory declaration witnessed by a Justice of the Peace (or other person authorised to witness statutory declarations).

You'll also need to provide evidence from your lead maternity carer of your expected due date, or evidence that you are the primary carer of a child under six.

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Paid parental leave payments 

We'll pay PPL payments directly into your bank account each fortnight. The payments will be treated as income, just like your normal salary and wages or self-employed income. PPL payments have tax and student loan deductions taken out (at the rate that applies to you).

Once we've received and processed your application we'll send your payment advice letter with:

  • your weekly entitlement amount (note that while this entitlement is weekly it's paid fortnightly)
  • the amount of your regular fortnightly payment (the first and last payments may be different to your regular fortnightly amounts depending on your PPL start date)
  • the dates when all your payments will be received.

If you receive PPL payments and another source of income at the same time

If you're also receiving another source of income (such as annual leave payments or an employer top-up) you'll need to use a secondary tax code for the lower payment amount. This will help you avoid a tax bill at the end of the year.

Find out more about secondary tax codes - you can also use the tax code decision tree on this page to choose the right tax code for your situation.

If you're an employee

PPL payments equal your normal pay up to a current maximum of $527.72 a week before tax. You'll receive the average of your highest 26 of the last 52 weeks of earnings up to the date the child arrives in your care.

If you're self-employed

PPL payments equal your average weekly earnings up to a current maximum of $527.72 a week before tax. The minimum payment is $152.50 each week before tax. If you earn less than this, or make a loss, this is what you'll receive. It's equivalent to 10 hours each week at the current minimum wage rate.

How long you can receive payments for

You can receive PPL payments for a maximum of 16 weeks if your baby is expected, born or you adopt a child under the age of 6 on or after 1 April 2015.

You can receive PPL payments for a maximum of 18 weeks if your baby is expected, born or a child under the age of 6 comes into your care on or after 1 April 2016.

If your baby is due on or after 1 April 2016 and is born prematurely

If your baby is due on or after 1 April 2016 and is born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) you'll qualify for additional baby payments. These payments cover the time between your baby's date of birth up to the end of the 36th week. Your regular PPL payments will start after this.

You can also claim these payments if you're not the birth mother but you have primary care of the baby during the preterm period.

Transferring your paid parental leave to your spouse or partner

You can transfer your PPL to your spouse or partner, as long as they also qualify for PPL from their employer (s) or self-employment.

You can elect which one of you will receive PPL if you and your spouse or partner:

  • are becoming joint primary carers of a child under six, and
  • you both qualify for PPL from your employer(s) or self-employment.

You can still transfer part of your entitlement once you've elected which one of you will claim PPL.

You'll need to complete a Paid parental leave (PPL) transfer (IR881) form.

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Working or resigning while you're receiving paid parental leave 

From 1 April 2016, you can work limited Keeping in Touch (KIT) hours during your PPL without losing your entitlement. You can work up to 40 hours over the 18 week period by agreement with your employer, or more if you're receiving payments for a premature baby.

Note  
Unless you receive additional payments for a premature baby, you can't work any of these hours in the first four weeks after giving birth.

If you qualify for PPL payments, you'll continue to be entitled to your payments even if you resign from your employment instead of taking leave.

If you qualified for in-work tax credit (IWTC) while you were working, you'll also receive IWTC while you are being paid PPL.

Maximum weekly amounts for paid parental leave for previous years

If your PPL start date is 1 July 2015, the maximum amount for employees is $516.85 (before tax). For self-employed with a loss, or income less than the minumum wage, the maximum amount is $147.50 (before tax).

Parental tax credits 

You may be entitled to receive more money by applying for parental tax credit rather than PPL if:

  • you earn less than $27,441.44 a year before tax from the job that you're taking leave from, or
  • you're expecting two or more children, eg, from multiple births or adoptions, or
  • you're taking less than the maximum number of weeks paid for paid parental leave.

Find out more about parental tax credit