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An expectant mother, the mother of a child under 1 or the new permanent primary caregiver of a child under 6.

To be eligible for paid parental leave you must establish a sufficient connection between New Zealand and the employment you are relying on to qualify for payments. You must also apply before the earlier of, the date:

  • your child turns 1 - for an expectant mother
  • your child has has been in your care for 12 months - for a primary carer
  • you return to work.

To qualify for paid parental leave

If you take time off work to care for your baby or a child who has come into your care, you may be able to get paid parental leave.  To qualify you must meet 1 of the following criteria:

  • be an expectant mother
  • be a new mother of a child under 1
  • have new permanent primary responsibility for a child under 6 and be any of the following:
    • an adoptive parent
    • a Home for Life parent
    • a matua whāngai (whāngai carer)
    • a grandparent with full-time care
    • a permanent guardian.

You also need to have worked an average of 10 hours a week, in at least 26 of the weeks in the year before:

  • your due date
  • the date the child comes into your care.

It does not matter how many employers you had or if you were self-employed. However, you need to be eligible either as an employee or a self-employed person. You cannot combine the hours you worked as an employee with the hours you worked as a self-employed person. You can combine the hours from multiple employments.

You must not have not received paid parental leave within the last 6 months.

If you resign or stop working

You can get paid parental leave if you resign or stop working instead of taking time off. Resigning or stopping work once you're on paid parental leave will not affect the payment you receive.

Transferring paid parental leave to your partner

If your spouse or partner is also taking parental leave or stopping work, you may be able to transfer some or all of your entitlement to them.

To transfer paid parental leave:

  • you, as the mother or primary carer, must qualify for paid parental leave
  • your spouse or partner must meet the working requirements to qualify for paid parental leave
  • you’ll need to complete the transferring PPL information on the PPL application in myIR (found under the Entitlement section), or complete a ‘Transfer my Paid Parental Leave’ request in myIR if you’ve already completed your application.

We base your partner's paid parental leave entitlement on their income. The amount they’re eligible for may be different to yours.

You can only transfer paid parental leave once, and it must be taken in a continuous period. This means they cannot transfer it back to you.

Your partner's paid parental leave period must start the day after your paid parental leave period ends.

Employment New Zealand has more information about paid parental leave eligibility.

Employment New Zealand (

Transfer my paid parental leave

Temporary changes to parental leave

The Government has amended the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987. The change is backdated to 25 March 2020. It means that some workers on parental leave who temporarily returned or will return to work during the COVID-19 period will not lose their parental leave entitlements. You can find out more by visiting COVID-19 Support for families.

COVID-19 Support for families

Am I eligible for paid parental leave?

Paid parental leave (PPL) is an entitlement funded by the Government. We'll pay your entitlements to you if you're an eligible parent or primary carer and you've successfully applied for it.
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Last updated: 21 Jul 2021
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