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Not returning to your job from parental leave

If you decide not to go back to your job, you can resign at any time while you’re on parental leave. You need to give the correct notice and it may affect any holiday pay you’re due.

Note: If you’ve been affected by COVID-19:

Giving notice

If you decide not to return to your job, check your employment agreement to see what notice you must give when you resign.

You must give at least 21 days’ notice before your parental leave ends, but if your agreement says more, then you must give that amount of notice. You and your employer can agree to a shorter notice period.

If you do not want to work out your notice

If you do not want to work out your notice, you need to resign at least the full notice period before your parental leave ends.


If your employment agreement says you have to give 4 weeks’ notice, then you need to resign at least 4 weeks before you’re due to return to work from your parental leave.

When your job ends

Your job ends on the day you started your parental leave — not the day you resign or when your notice period ends. This means you’ll have a break in your employment record.

The Employment NZ website has more information about not returning to work, parental leave payments and how any holiday pay is calculated.

Returning to work

Parental leave payments

If you decide to resign from your job while you’re still getting government parental leave payments, you continue to receive them.

Holiday pay

You’ll only get paid for leave you were due up to the date you started your parental leave.

Your last pay when you leave a job

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