Making an application
How do I apply for the parental leave payment?
Payments for parental leave are processed by Inland Revenue (IR).
Once you have decided on your leave arrangements, you should make an application for paid parental leave as soon as possible, including whether any of the leave will be transferred to your partner (if he or she is also eligible). The latest the application can be made is the earliest of:
- Your return to work
- When the paid parental leave ends
- You cease self-employment.
You can obtain application forms either by downloading them from this website or by phoning the Department of Labour on 0800 20 90 20 during normal business hours.
Once you and your partner (if you intend to transfer parental leave payments to them) have completed the application form you should forward it to IR together with a:
- Declaration of your self-employed status, your net income and average weekly earnings, and a
- Certificate, or copy of a certificate, from a medical practitioner or midwife confirming your pregnancy, or proof that you have assumed the care of a child with a view to adoption.
Your self-employed status, net income and average weekly earnings details need to be confirmed by a:
- Declaration from a Chartered Accountant, or a
- Declaration completed by you and witnessed by a Justice of the
Peace (or other person who may witness a statutory declaration).
- From 1 July 2010 tax advisors who are a member of an organisation with approved advisor group status (This currently applies to NZICA and TINZ) under the Tax Administration Act 1994 will also have the authority to verify applications of paid parental leave for self employed persons.
It is an offence to provide inaccurate information or to fail to supply information with the intention to mislead the Department of Labour when making an application.
If you are transferring all or part of your parental leave payment to your partner, you also need to include their:
- Signed application form with service and payment details confirmed by their employer if your partner is an employee, or
- Signed application form and declaration of self-employed status, net income and average weekly earnings if your partner is self-employed.
Inland Revenue will normally reply within 10 working days.
How do I calculate my net income for the parental leave payment?
The income calculation should be made for the six or 12 month period up to the expected date of delivery, or the date you have assumed the care of a child with a view to adoption. This will require you to either:
- Forecast your income for a period, or
- Apply for the payment once leave has commenced and your income is confirmed.
The average weekly income is arrived at by dividing the net income earned over the previous six or 12 months by either 26 (if you qualify on the basis of six months’ self-employment) or 52 (if you qualify on the basis of 12 months’ self-employment).
The number of weeks used to divide your net income should be reduced accordingly if during the six or 12 month period you have been:
- In receipt of an ACC payment
- On parental leave, or
- Unable to work because of any other relevant circumstances, as determined by a Labour Inspector.
Susan is applying for leave under the six month entitlement and during that period suffered an accident and was on ACC weekly compensation for three weeks. She earned $15000 (excluding ACC payments) over the six months. Her average weekly income is:
$15 000 divided by 23 weeks (26 minus 3 weeks) = $652.17.
Susan would be entitled to the maximum leave payment.
Margot is applying for leave under the 12 month entitlement and took parental leave for eight weeks of that period. She earned $14,000 over the 12 months.
Her average weekly income is:
$14,000 divided by 44 weeks (52 minus 8 weeks) = $318.18.
Margot would be entitled to a leave payment of $318.18.
If my partner is employed how do they apply for leave?
Your partner should apply in writing to their employer. This is important, as it makes it easier to enforce their rights if there is a disagreement. In most cases they need to give their employer a letter at least three months before the baby is due. They do not need to give three months notice when their employer agrees to let them give less notice, or for adoption (which has different notice requirements).
The letter must say:
- What type of leave they want
- When they want the leave to start, and how long the period of leave will be.
For more details, phone the Department of Labour on 0800 20 90 20 during normal business hours.
They must attach a certificate, or a copy of a certificate, from your doctor or midwife stating when the baby is due. Your partner must also include a written declaration from you stating that they are your partner and they are going to share the care of the baby or adopted child.
Examples of the letter required can be downloaded from this website, or you can phone the Department of Labour on 0800 20 90 20 during normal business hours and they will send you an example.
Your partner should think carefully about the length of parental leave they want before they commence leave as once they have started leave they can only extend it if their employer agrees.
If you are adopting a child, you may not know in advance when you will take responsibility for the child. There are special provisions for giving notice in this situation. You can visit our FAQ Knowledgebase and submit a question, or call free on the Department of Labour on 0800 20 90 20 during normal business hours for more details.
After the employer receives the application for parental leave, they have seven days in which to ask for any required information that your partner may not have supplied. This seven-day period starts from the date on which it comes to the employer’s attention that the application is incomplete. This information must be provided within 14 days.
Once they have received the information the employer must reply to the application within 21 days. The reply should state:
- Whether your partner is entitled to take parental leave, and if not, the reasons why not
- The main rights and obligations your partner has under the Act, especially those relating to when your partner can start taking leave
- Whether the job can be kept open or not. If it cannot, the letter should explain that your partner is able to dispute that, and will have preference for similar jobs for six months after the end of the parental leave.
It is rare that a job cannot be kept open. If this occurs contact the Department of Labour for advice, on 0800 20 90 20.