Posted on: Jun 22, 2018
22 June 2018: From 1 July 2018, the number of weeks a parent can receive the government-funded parental leave payments will increase from 18 weeks to 22 weeks.
The extension of paid parental leave to 22 weeks aims to reduce financial stress on working families with newborns and young children. It will allow more time for those carers who aren’t in a position to take additional unpaid leave to bond with their children.
Remember that these changes will apply from 1 July 2018, so entitlements will be different for different staff, depending on when their leave starts.
‘Keeping in touch’ hours
From 1 July 2018, the number of hours that an employee can do paid work (‘keeping in touch’ hours) while they are on parental leave will also increase from 40 hours to 52 hours during the parental leave period. This will further increase to 64 hours from 2020.
How do these changes impact on the employer?
You will be pleased! These changes do not require employers to provide any additional leave. It might, however, provide more certainty for employers, given the likelihood that more parents may take the full 26 weeks if the majority of the leave is paid. So, it could give employers greater confidence about the length of time they need to backfill the role.
Remember that Inland Revenue makes the parental leave payments, not employers, so this change does not place any additional financial burden on the employer.
This article, and any information contained on our website is necessarily brief and general in nature, and should not be substituted for professional advice. You should always seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters addressed.