As part of the 2014 Budget the New Zealand Government announced changes to paid parental leave (PPL) provisions.
This post is quite full of dates and $$$$, but if you are expecting a baby any time soon hang on in there as there may just be some good news for you.
From 01 July 2014 the maximum payment for eligible employees and self-employed persons increased from $488.17 to $504.10 gross per week. The minimum parental leave payment for self-employed persons increased from $137.50 to $142.50 gross per week.
The current 14 weeks of paid parental leave will be extended from 14 to 16 weeks from 01 April 2015 and will be extended to 18 weeks from 01 April 2016.
In addition from 01 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 (for example, seasonal and casual workers) or who recently changed jobs.
Some flexibility will also be introduced to parental leave to allow, for example an employee to attend a course for work, an occasional day.
For babies born after 01 April 2015, the government will increase the Parental Tax Credit from $150.00 to $220.00 per week, and extend the payment period from 8 to 10 weeks. (a person can claim either Paid Parental Leave or the Parental Tax Credit, not both).
So, you made it to the end, yay! What do you think? Do you think these changes go far enough? How long do you think Paid Parental Leave should be in New Zealand?