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The permanent primary caregiver of a child under 6.

To be eligible for paid parental leave you must establish a sufficient connection between New Zealand and the employment you are relying on to qualify for payments.

To qualify for paid parental leave

If you take time off work to care for your baby or a child who has come into your care, you may be able to get paid parental leave.  To qualify you must have permanent primary responsibility for a child under 6 and be:

  • a pregnant woman or new mother
  • the spouse or partner of a pregnant woman or new mother
  • an adoptive parent
  • a Home for Life parent
  • whāngai
  • a grandparent with full-time care
  • a permanent guardian.

You also need to have worked an average of 10 hours a week, in at least 26 of the weeks in the year before:

  • your due date
  • the date the child comes into your care.

It does not matter how many employers you had or if you were self-employed.

If you resign or stop working

You can get paid parental leave if you resign or stop working instead of taking time off. Resigning or stopping work once you're on paid parental leave will not affect the payment you receive.

Transferring your paid parental leave to your partner

We base your partner's paid parental leave entitlement on their income. They may not be eligible for the same amount as you.

You can transfer all or part of your paid parental leave to your partner if they're also eligible for paid parental leave. You can only transfer paid parental leave once, and it must be taken in a continuous period.

Your partner's paid parental leave period must start the day after your paid parental leave period ends. If you transfer your paid parental leave to your partner, they cannot transfer it back to you.

You and your partner will both need to complete the Paid parental leave transfer - IR881 form.

Employment New Zealand has more information about paid parental leave eligibility.

Employment New Zealand (

Transfer my paid parental leave

Temporary changes to parental leave

The Government has amended the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. The change is backdated to 25 March 2020. It means that some workers on parental leave who temporarily returned or will return to work during the COVID-19 period will not lose their parental leave entitlements. You can find out more by visiting COVID-19 Support for families.

COVID-19 Support for families