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COVID-19 - Level 1 If you've been affected by COVID-19, we may be able to help. Find out more

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.

You can get paid parental leave if you resign or stop working instead of taking time off work. Once you’re on paid parental leave you can resign or stop working and this will not affect the payment you receive.

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. A sufficient connection can be established through evidence that you work for a New Zealand employer, pay income tax to New Zealand, and that your employment relationship is subject to New Zealand employment law.

For more information on paid parental leave eligibility go to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's website.

Find out more about paid parental leave at Employment New Zealand's website (employment.govt.nz)

Transferring your paid parental leave to your partner

You can transfer all or part of your paid parental leave to your partner if they’re also eligible for PPL from their employer or self-employment. 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.

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

If they qualify, both you and your partner will need to complete an IR881 form to transfer your 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