Extending paid parental leave

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill was passed to extend the duration of paid parental leave to 26 weeks.

The law increased the duration of parental leave payments over 3 years and 2 stages:

  • an increase from 18 to 22 weeks from 1 July 2018
  • a further increase to 26 weeks from 1 July 2020.

The extension aimed to support working families with newborns and young children and help reduce financial stress.

Keeping in Touch extended

The new law also proportionately increased the number of Keeping in Touch days:

  • from 40 to 52 hours from 1 July 2018
  • to 64 hours from 1 July 2020.

Keeping in Touch days allow parents to do limited work while on parental leave, if they choose to, for example to attend a team day or an organisational announcement.

More information

Our employment website has the most up-to-date information about parental leave, including eligibility, payments and returning to work.

Parental leave(external link) — Employment New Zealand

Paid Parental Leave Questions and answers [PDF, 137 KB]

Minister’s press release(external link) — Beehive.govt.nz

Extending Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks Cabinet Paper [PDF, 310 KB]

Explaining the differences between the costs in the Cabinet paper and the final figures [PDF, 68 KB]

Last updated: 04 September 2023