Taking parental leave
If you're eligible, you can take parental leave to care for a child. You may also be able to get parental leave payments.
Paid parental leave is a government-funded payment you get when you stop working to look after a child under 6 years old.
Who can take parental leave
There are different kinds of parental leave you can take depending on your situation — for example, how long you've been in paid work over the last year or if you're the main carer for the child.
Your employer might have specific rules or policies around parental leave. Check if you're eligible for support from your employer on top of the government's paid parental leave payments. For example, some employers offer return-to-work payments.
If you're self-employed
If you're self-employed you get paid parental leave if you worked for an average of 10 hours per week for at least 26 weeks during the year leading up to the arrival of your child.
How much leave you can take
You can take up to 52 weeks off work. The amount of time you take off depends on your situation — for example, how long you've worked for your employer. You only get paid parental leave from the government for 18 weeks.
Work out how much leave you can take and how long you'll get parental leave payments for.
Changes to how much leave you can take
Parents with babies due on or after 1 July 2018 are eligible for 22 weeks of paid parental leave.
They will also be able to get the Best Start tax credit after paid parental leave ends. This is $60 per week for the first year.
How much money you can get
The most you can get each week is $538.55 before tax. You can find out more and apply on the Inland Revenue website.
When you're on parental leave you continue to build up annual leave as long as you return to your job.
Parental tax credit
A parental tax credit is a payment you can get when you have a baby.
You can either get a parental tax credit or parental leave payments. If you qualify for both you'll have to choose.
If you're on a benefit or low income
You might be able to get help from Work and Income while you're pregnant and after you have the baby.