Paid parental leave (PPL) is a government-funded entitlement paid to eligible mothers and other primary carers, such as adoptive parents, 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:
You'll qualify if you have permanent primary responsibility for the care, development and upbringing of a child under six.
Find out more about eligibility on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's website or call them on 0800 20 90 20.
You can apply for PPL:
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 PPL entitlement period has 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:
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.
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:
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 a KiwiSaver member and you want to make contributions from your PPL payments, you'll need to complete a KiwiSaver deduction form (KS2) and send it to us. Employer contributions are not made from PPL payments.
You can also make payments directly to your KiwiSaver scheme provider. Contact your scheme provider to find out how to make payments and what information needs to be included with the payments.
If you don’t make KiwiSaver contributions from your PPL payments, or make voluntary payments to your scheme provider while you’re on parental leave, this may affect your ability to qualify for the HomeStart grant. For more information please see KiwiSaver HomeStart grant
PPL payments equal your normal pay up to a current maximum of $564.38 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.
PPL payments equal your average weekly earnings up to a current maximum of $564.38 a week before tax. The minimum payment is $165.00 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.
|Birth or due date||Maximum number of weeks|
|Baby is born and expected before 1 July 2018||Up to 18 weeks|
|Baby is born or expected on or after 1 July 2018, and is born and expected before 1 July 2020||Up to 22 weeks|
|Baby is born or expected on or after 1 July 2020||Up to 26 weeks|
You may use paid leave entitlements (eg annual leave) before starting your paid parental leave. In this situation you can start your paid parental leave from the day after your paid leave ends, even if it is later than the child’s expected delivery date or date of birth, or the date they come into your care.
If you won’t be using paid leave entitlements, your start date cannot be later than your expected delivery date or child’s date of birth, or the day you become the primary carer of the child.
If your baby 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.
From 1 June 2017, if your baby is born prematurely and you return to work after you start getting a preterm baby payment or parental leave payment, you can still get your parental leave payments when you go back on parental leave, as long as it’s no later than the original expected date of birth, had the baby not been born prematurely.
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:
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.
You can work limited Keeping in Touch (KIT) hours by agreement with your employer during your PPL without losing your entitlement.
|Birth or due date||Maximum KIT hours|
|Baby is born and expected before 1 July 2018||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.|
|Baby is born or expected on or after 1 July 2018, and is born and expected before 1 July 2020||KIT hours increase to 52 hours over the 22 week PPL period.|
|Baby is born or expected on or after 1 July 2020||KIT hours increase to 64 hours over the 26 week PPL period.|
|You can't work any of these KIT hours in the first four weeks after giving birth. However, if you're receiving payments for a premature baby you may work additional KIT hours. For more information, see the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's website or call them on 0800 20 90 20.|
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.
From 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2018, the maximum amount for employees is $539.08 (before tax). For self-employed with a loss, or income less than the minimum wage, the maximum amount is $157.50 (before tax).
If your child was born before 1 July 2018, you may be entitled to receive more money by applying for parental tax credit rather than PPL if:
You can receive Best Start tax credit (BSTC) for a child due or born on or after 1 July 2018. You can't receive BSTC for the same period PPL is being paid.
If you delay applying for PPL your payment is backdated. If you are already receiving BSTC you could be overpaid BSTC by receiving both payments for the same period.
To avoid an overpayment you can either: