Parental Leave increases 1 July 2014

LABOUR MINISTER SIMON BRIDGES TODAY ANNOUNCED THAT PARENTAL LEAVE PAYMENTS WILL INCREASE FROM 1 JULY 2014.

The maximum payment for eligible employees and self-employed persons will increase from $488.17 per week to $504.10 gross per week.
 
The minimum parental leave payment for self-employed people will also increase from $137.50 per week to $142.50 gross per week.

“We have increased parental leave payments to reflect the 3.3 per cent increase in the average weekly wage over the past year,” says Mr Bridges.

Under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, parents eligible for the scheme are entitled to up to 14 weeks paid leave at a rate calculated on the basis of their average weekly earnings.

The maximum rate is adjusted every year to account for any increase in average weekly earnings.

“In addition to this increase, the Government announced a significant overhaul of parental leave as part of Budget 2014, which will make it available to more people, for a longer period, and with increased flexibility,” says Mr Bridges.

“The current 14 weeks’ paid parental leave will increase to 18 weeks in two stages — to 16 weeks from 1 April 2015 and 18 weeks from 1 April 2016. 

“The eligibility of paid parental leave will also be expanded to include caregivers other than parents (for example, permanent guardians), and to extend payments to people in less-regular work or who recently changed jobs.  

“Some flexibility will also be introduced to parental leave to allow, for example, an employee to attend a course or work an occasional day. 

“Supporting children and families is a priority for this Government, and the changes will ensure New Zealand’s parental leave framework better reflects modern working arrangements and today’s diverse family structures, says Mr Bridges.

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