Parental leave payments to increase from 1 July

  • Michael Woodhouse
Workplace Relations and Safety

Paid parental leave payments will increase from 1 July 2015, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today.

The maximum weekly rate for eligible employees and self-employed parents will increase from $504.10 to $516.85 gross per week.

“The Government is committed to helping children get a good start in life and ensure that New Zealand’s parental leave framework better supports Kiwi families,” says Mr Woodhouse.

“The increase in paid parental leave payments reflects the 2.5 per cent rise in the average weekly wage over the past year, as reported by Statistics New Zealand.”

Under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, eligible parents are entitled to paid leave at a rate calculated on the basis of their average weekly earnings. The maximum rate is adjusted every year to account for any increase in average weekly earnings.

“On top of this increase, the Government also extended paid parental leave from 14 to 16 weeks on 1 April this year, and by another two weeks from 1 April 2016.

“The changes are part of a package of measures to modernise parental leave and the Government is currently progressing further improvements to the scheme to extend eligibility to more workers and increase the flexibility of the scheme.”