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Going back to work after having a baby

Get financial help with childcare and other costs when you're back in work, and find out about the rules around returning to work and breaks for breastfeeding.

Before returning to work

You have to give 21 days notice in writing to your employer:

  • before you return to work — even if you’re returning on your agreed start date
  • if you decide to return to work early.

The Employment NZ website has guidance to help employees and their employers prepare their return to work.

Returning to work when your parental leave ends

Workplace facilities and arrangements


Your employer needs to provide a place for you to breastfeed or express milk. Check your workplace policy for whether these breaks are paid or unpaid.

Breaks and facilities for breastfeeding

Flexible working

You can ask your employer to consider changes to your work arrangements such as hours, days or place of work.

Flexible working arrangements

Keeping in touch days while you’re on leave

If your employer agrees, you can choose to work a limited number of hours. These are called keeping in touch days and criteria apply. Find out more on Employment NZ’s website.

Keeping in touch days

Resolve a problem with work or a redundancy

Employment NZ has guidance on how to sort out problems with parental leave requests or redundancy.

Financial help

Use the SmartStart website’s online financial help checker to find out what you may be eligible for from Inland Revenue and Work and Income.

Financial help

The Work and Income website has more information about help with the costs of having a baby, such as car seat and breast pump hire, and childcare.

Utility links and page information

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