Increase in parental leave payments – update

On 11 June 2024, the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety announced that parental leave payments will increase from 1 July 2024.

The maximum weekly rate of parental leave payments is currently $712.17 (gross).  From 1 July 2024, that will increase to $754.87 (gross) per week (a 6% increase).  Eligible primary carers are entitled to up to 26 weeks’ parental leave payments.  The minimum weekly rate for self-employed parents will also increase, from $227.00 (gross) to $231.50 (gross) to reflect the increase to minimum wage on 1 April 2024. 

The Minister reiterated that the scheme and increase in payments will also apply to those who suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth.

In some circumstances, a primary carer can share some of the parental leave payments with their partner, at which time the partner becomes the primary carer – this can be complicated in practice, so we recommend seeking advice.   At the moment, parental leave payments (and leave) can only be transferred once, and the two carers cannot be off work and receiving payments at the same time (e.g., both parents being away for 13 weeks and both receiving the payments). 

If a baby is born early, the primary carer may also be entitled to pre-term baby payments and an associated extension of the period of overall leave they can take. 

The National Government indicated during the election it may make changes to how parental leave and payments can be shared, so watch this space to see whether any will be introduced – we certainly will be.

The Act also covers the different types of leave that can be taken, notice requirements and timeframes, and obligations on employers including relating to holding roles open. 

We understand that the obligations on employees and employers under the legislation can be complicated – we are happy to guide you through the Act, the practicalities, and the processes if and when you need it


For more information

If you or your organisation need advice on parental leave and/or this latest update, please do not hesitate to reach out For more information, please contact 04 472 0020 or one of our employment law experts.

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Changes to parental leave payments