Paid Parental Leave Rate Increases 1 July
29 June 2007
From 1 July 2007, the maximum parental leave payment increases by nearly $20 per week, further supporting families with young children.
The rate increases from $372.12 per week to $391.28 per week this Sunday, and applies to all new applicants as well as those already receiving parental leave payments. Those people already receiving payments will be advised of the increase by Inland Revenue through their regular payments letter.
Paid parental leave supports new parents at a critical time. With over 60 percent of women now participating in paid work, paid parental leave is helping to support the choices they are making about their families and their careers.
Under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, the maximum rate is adjusted each year to reflect any increase in average weekly earnings, as determined by Statistics New Zealand's Quarterly Employment Survey.
Paid parental leave was introduced in New Zealand in 2002, and increased from 12 to 14 weeks in 2005. Last year the Government extended paid parental leave to self-employed parents, so that it is now available to nearly 90 percent of all women in paid work. It is part of the Government's continued positive support for families.
The increase in the rate will give working families more money in their pockets, in line with the other policies being introduced by the Government on 1 July including 20 free hours of early childhood education per week, and lower doctor fees and prescription charges for everyone enrolled at a Primary Health Organisation.
To the journalist: Please note that health and safety services, formerly referred to as Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) should now be referred to as the Department of Labour.