Paid Parental Leave - we're expanding!
We all know that having a baby is an exciting time but it can also be stressful, especially when you start thinking about taking extended leave from work and what that could mean to you financially. To help relieve some of this stress, Paid Parental Leave (PPL) has just been extended, giving more families more time together during those precious first few weeks.
If your baby was due on or after 1 April 2016, then you could receive up to 18 weeks of paid parental leave payments instead of 16 weeks. Currently the maximum payment is $516.85 per week before tax. The amount you could receive is either your gross weekly rate of pay (your pay before tax) or $516.72 - whichever is lower.
Widening who’s eligible
Paid parental leave is now available to more people than ever before. If you work part-time, or in casual or seasonal positions then you could now receive PPL payments, as long as you have worked a minimum of 10 hours a week for at least 26 of the past 52 weeks up to your due date.
Families come in all shapes and sizes
Becoming a parent can happen in many different ways through conception, adoption or by becoming a primary caregiver by other means – grandparents or other family members taking full-time care of a child, whāngai or Child, Youth and Family (CYF) Home for Life parents.
All of these parents want to give their child the best start in life, and to help with this PPL is now available to people who take full-time permanent care of a child under six, as long as they meet the work requirements.
Extra time to finish the job
When you go on parental leave, you may need to complete a handover with the person covering for you while you’re away or attend an essential training course. In the past you couldn’t do this without affecting your payment or having to do it unpaid. Now, because of Keeping in Touch (KIT) hours, you’re able to complete up to 40 hours of paid work over the parental leave period (you can’t do any work during the first four weeks though).
Additionally, if you decide that you no longer want to return to work, then you can resign at the beginning of your parental leave without affecting your payments.
Babies don’t do schedules
If your baby makes an early appearance, you are now entitled to additional payments for every week they are born prematurely (before 37 weeks). So if your baby is born at 34 weeks, you’ll get three weeks of extra payments before your 18 weeks PPL will start. If you have already applied for PPL then you’ll just need to give Inland Revenue a call and let them know and they will change the date your payments starts.
To find out more, visit www.ird.govt.nz/paid-parental-leave
This blog was written 2017-10-08.