Flexible Use of Paid Parental Leave

National will modernise paid parental leave rules by giving parents more flexibility to share their leave entitlements.

It’s time New Zealand’s parental leave rules better reflected the needs of modern parents and the choices they wish to make about their own caregiving arrangements.

Under current rules, a birth parent can transfer part of their leave entitlement to their partner, but they are not allowed to take that leave at the same time.

Parents are also not entitled to alternate leave between themselves, for example one month on and one month off each.

National believes families should have more flexibility and choice over how they divide their paid parental leave entitlements to best suit their own circumstances.

National will modernise outdated parental leave rules by allowing parents to divide their paid leave between them in the way they think is best: by taking it at the same time, one after the other or in overlapping instalments. This will free up parents to make the choices that best suit their personal circumstances. 

Whether you’re a Dad wanting to support Mum in the first few weeks of birth, or you want to divide your paid leave entitlement between two primary caregivers in overlapping instalments, the choice should be yours. 

Outdated government rules should not get in the way of families doing what they think is in the best interests of their own babies.

This is a simple, pragmatic change that will come at no extra cost to the taxpayer. It’s also a change that every political party in Parliament except for Labour supports.

The next National Government will make it happen.