ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations
ILO-en-strap
Go to the home page
Contact us
> TRAVAIL home > TRAVAIL legal databases


Page 1 of 1 (1 countries)   

New Zealand - Maternity protection - 2011


LAST UPDATE

21 November 2011

SOURCES


Name of Act

Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987, Act No 129 of 1987, dated 10 July 1987 as reprinted as at 1 April 2011. Published by New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office at http://legislation.govt.nz/ and accessed 17 November 2011.

Name of Act

Human Rights Act 1993, Act No 82 of 1993, dated 10 August 1993 and reprinted 1 May 2011. Published by New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office at http://legislation.govt.nz/ and accessed 17 November 2011.

Name of Act

Employment Relations Act 2000, Public Act No 24 of 2000, dated 19 August 2000, as reprinted 1 July 2011. Published by New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office at http://legislation.govt.nz/ and accessed 17 November 2011.

Name of Act

Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations 2002, Order in Council 98 of 2002, dated 15 April 2002, as reprinted 1 July 2010. Published by New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office at http://legislation.govt.nz/ and accessed 17 November 2011.

Name of Act

Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Rate of Parental Leave Payment) Regulations 2011, Order in Council 181 of 2011, dated 23 May 2011. Published by New Zealand Parliamentary Counsel Office at http://legislation.govt.nz/ and accessed 17 November 2011.

Name of Act

Social Security Act 1964, Act No. 136 (as at 23 July 2011). Published by the Parliamentary Counsel Office of New Zealand at legislation.govt.nz and accessed 21 November 2011.

MATERNITY LEAVE


Scope

The statutory maternity leave entitlement applies to every female employee (as defined), except those who are covered by a comprehensive employment agreement or other arrangement (as defined) which provides the employee with rights and benefits in the nature of parental leave that are at least as favourable to the employee in their overall effect than the rights and benefits provided by Parts 1 to 5 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§2(1), 4
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for maternity leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, a pregnant employee will need to have been in the employment of the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 12 or 6 months, at the expected date of delivery.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §7
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Duration


Compulsory leave

An employer may direct a pregnant employee to commence her maternity leave on such date as the employer appoints if:
(a) by reason of pregnancy, the employee is unable to perform her work to the safety of herself or others, or is incapable of performing her work adequately; and
(b) no other suitable work is available.

No other provisions contemplating compulsory leave identified.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §14

General total duration

Maternity leave must be taken in 1 continuous period not exceeding 14 weeks.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §9(1)
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: 14 weeks (up to 6 weeks before delivery)
  • 2004: Fourteen weeks
  • 1998: Fourteen weeks
  • 1994: Fourteen weeks

Extension

Where a period of maternity leave commences before 6 weeks prior to the expected delivery date due to medical advice or employer’s risk assessment, the employee’s maternity leave entitlement will be extended (if necessary) to ensure that she has at least 8 weeks’ leave after the expected delivery date.

Further, a new mother may elect to extend her period of absence from work by taking ’extended leave’, being leave which may be taken by the mother and / or her spouse or partner until the date on which their child attains 12 months of age. The total collective entitlement to extended leave (i.e. including any period of maternity leave or partner/parental leave taken, but excluding any extended period of maternity leave taken due to medical advice or employer risk assessment) is 52 weeks.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§9(2), 13(1), 14, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Leave in case of illness or complications

A female employee who is pregnant is entitled, before taking maternity leave, to take a total of up to 10 days special leave without pay for reasons connected with her pregnancy.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §15

RELATED TYPES OF LEAVE


Parental leave


Scope

The extended leave entitlement applies to every employee (as defined), except those who are covered by a comprehensive employment agreement or other arrangement (as defined) which provides the employee with rights and benefits in the nature of parental leave that are at least as favourable to the employee in their overall effect than the rights and benefits provided by Parts 1 to 5 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§2(1), 4

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for extended leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, an employee must:
(a) assume or intend to assume the care of a child to whom the employee, or the employee’s spouse or partner, has given birth; or
(b) have been, at the expected date of delivery of that child, in the employment of the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week during the immediately preceding 12 months; and
(c) have provided his or her employer with written notice of his or her intention to take maternity, partner’s/parental and extended leave in accordance with s31(1) of the Act.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§23, 31(1), 32, 33, 35

Length

The extended leave entitlement is an entitlement to leave, to be taken by an employee and/or the employee’s spouse or partner, consecutively or concurrently but in no more than 1 continuous period each, the combined total of which does not exceed 52 weeks any period of:
(a) maternity leave taken by the employee or his or her spouse or partner, excluding any period of maternity leave in excess of 14 weeks taken pursuant to s9(2) of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act; and
(b) extended partner’s/paternity leave taken under s19A or s19B of the Act.

The right to commence or continue extended leave ends on the child’s first birthday.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§26, 28, 29, 30

Paternity leave


Scope

The partner’s/paternity leave entitlement applies to every employee (as defined), except those who are covered by a comprehensive employment agreement or other arrangement (as defined) which provides the employee with rights and benefits in the nature of parental leave that are at least as favourable to the employee in their overall effect than the rights and benefits provided by Parts 1 to 5 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§2(1), 4
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for partner’s/paternity leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, an employee must:
(a) be the spouse or partner of a pregnant woman; and
(b) assume or intend to assume the care of the child of the pregnancy; and
(c) have been, at the expected date of delivery for that child, in the employment of the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 12 or 6 months.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §17
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Length

The partner’s/paternity leave entitlement is to a period of leave of:
(a) if the employee will have been in the employer’s employment for an average of 10 hours (or more) a week over the immediately preceding 6 months - 1 week; or
(b) if the employee will have been in the employer’s employment for an average of 10 hours (or more) a week over the immediately preceding 12 months - 2 weeks;
(c) if the employee’s spouse or partner transfers his or her entitlement to parental leave payments to the employee - the period of parental leave payments transferred to him or her.

The partner’s/paternity leave entitlement shall begin on one of the following dates:
(i) the date of confinement;
(ii) such date as elected by the employee falling with 21 days before the expected date of confinement and 21 days after the actual date of confinement (or such later date on which the child is released from hospital or similar establishment); and
(iii) such other date as agreed by the employee and his or her employer.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§19, 19A, 19AB, 20, 21, 22, 71E

Adoption leave


Scope

The entitlements to maternity, partner/paternity and extended leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act extend to adoptive parents. The scope of the entitlements for adoptive parents mirror the scope of the entitlements for birth parents.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§2(1), 4

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for maternity, partner/paternity or extended leave under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, an adoptive parent will need to:
(a) be assuming (with a view to adoption by her or by her and her spouse or partner jointly) the care of a child who is not more than 5 years of age; and
(b) have been, at the date on which she first assumes the care of the child with a view to adoption, in the employment of the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 12 months or, in the case of maternity and partner/paternity leave, the immediately preceding 6 months; and
(c) for the purposes of taking maternity leave - not have previously taken, in respect of that child, a period of maternity leave or leave in the nature of maternity leave under any Act or employment agreement; and
(d) for the purposes of taking extended elave - have given written notice to his or her employer in accordance with sections 31(1) and 33 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§8, 18, 24, 31(1), 33, 35

Length

The length of the maternity, partner’s/paternity and extended leave entitlements for adoptive parents mirror the length of those entitlements for birth parents.

However, the date for determining when the right to leave commences and ends is the date on which the employee first assumes care of the child with a view to adoption, and the first anniversary of that date.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§8, 9, 18, 19, 19A, 19AB, 19B, 20, 24, 26, 29, 30

RIGHT TO PART-TIME WORK


General provisions

No right to part-time work identified. However, an employee may request to vary his or her hours and days of work if he or she:
(i) has the care of any person; and
(ii) has been employed by his or her employer for the immediately preceding 6 months as at the date the request is made.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §§69AAA - 69AAF

Length

An employee may request a temporary or permanent variation to his or her hours or days of work.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §69AAC

Change of part-time work arrangement

Employees may only request to vary his or her hours or days of work once in any 12 month period, irrespective of the outcome of the previous request.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §69AAD

CASH BENEFITS


Maternity leave benefits


Scope

The maternity benefits entitlement applies to all female employees (as defined) and female self-employed persons.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§2, 7, 71CA(1)(a), 71CB
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for maternity benefits, a pregnant female employee must:
(i) have been in the employment of the same employer for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 12 or 6 months, at the expected date of delivery;
(ii) give written notice to her employer of her wish to take maternity leave (either under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act or an alternative source of entitlement); and
(iii) take maternity leave from her employment.

To qualify for maternity benefits, a pregnant female self-employed person must:
(i) at the expected date of delivery, have been self-employed for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 6 or 12 months; and
(ii) take maternity leave from self-employment in respect of the child.

The employee or self-employed person must also make an application for payment in accordance with section 71I of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act and regulations 7-9 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71CA(1)(a), 71CB(1), 71D, 71DA(1)(a), 71I
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations 2002 §§7-9

Duration

Maternity leave payments are payable for one continuous period not exceeding 14 weeks.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71J
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Amount

The rate of maternity leave payments payable to employees is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the employee’s ordinary weekly pay before the commencement of the leave, or 100% of the employee’s avearge weekly earnings, whichever is the greater.

The rate of maternity leave payments payable to self-employed persons is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the self-employed person’s average weekly earnings or $130 per week, whichever is the greater.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71M(1), 71M(1A)
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Rate of Parental Leave Payment) Regulations 2011 §§4, 5
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: The lesser of $325 per week OR the greater of 1) 100% of the employee's ordinary weekly pay before the commencement of the leave 2) 100% of the employee's avearge weekly earnings.
  • 2004: One hundred percent up to a ceiling
  • 1998: Unpaid
  • 1994: Unpaid

Financing of benefits

The money to be expended in providing maternity leave benefits is to be paid out of a Crown Bank Account, from money appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71Q
Historical data (year indicates year of data collection)
  • 2009: State ("public money")
  • 2004: State
  • 1998: Unpaid
  • 1994: Unpaid

Alternative provisions

A pregnant person who is more than 26 weeks pregnant and unable to work due to her pregnancy may be eligible for sickness benefits of up to $288.47 a week, under the Social Security Act 1964.
Social Security Act 1964 §§3, 54, 54A and Schedule 9

Parental leave benefits


Scope

There is no entitlement to cash benefits attached to the entitlement to extended leave.

Paternity leave benefits


Scope

Partner’s/paternity leave will only be paid where the mother transfers her entitlements to maternity leave payments to her spouse or partner. The spouse or partner may be an employee (as defined) or a self-employed person.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71CA(1)(c), 71E
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Qualifying conditions

In order to qualify for the payments, the spouse or partner must:
(a) if an employee -
(i) give written notice to his or her employer of his or her wish to take parental leave; and
(ii) take parental leave from his or her employment in respect of the child; and
(iii) at the expected date of birth, have been employed by the employer for at least an average of 10 hours per week over the immediately preceding 6 or 12 months; or
(b) if a self-employed person -
(i) assume or intend to assume the care of a child to whom the person’s spouse or partner gives birth; and
(ii) take parental leave from his or her self-employment; and
(iii) at the expected date of delivery, have been self-employed for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 6 or 12 months.

The employee or self-employed person must also make an application for payment in accordance with section 71I of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act and regulations 10-12 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71CA(1)(c), 71E
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations 2002 §§10-12

Duration

The duration of payments to an employee who is taking partner’s/paternity leave will be determined by the amount of maternity benefits transferred by the mother to her spouse or partner under §71E, up to a maximum continuous period of 14 weeks.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71E, 71EA, 71J

Amount

The amount payable to employees taking partner’s/paternity leave is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the employee’s ordinary weekly pay before the commencement of the leave, or 100% of the employee’s avearge weekly earnings, whichever is the greater.

The amount payable to self-employed persons taking partner’s/paternity leave is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the self-employed person’s average weekly earnings or $130 per week, whichever is the greater.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§71M(1), 71M(1A)
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Rate of Parental Leave Payment) Regulations 2011 §§4, 5
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Financing of benefits

The money paid to persons on partner’s/paternity leave is to be paid out of a Crown Bank Account, from money appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71Q

Adoption leave benefits


Scope

The scope of the parental leave benefits for adoptive parents extends to all employees (as defined) and self-employed persons.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§8, 18, 24, 71CA(1)(b), 71CA(2), 71CB(1)(b)

Qualifying conditions

To qualify for maternity or partner’s/paternity leave benefits under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act, an adoptive parent will need to:
(a) be assuming (with a view to adoption by her or by her and her spouse or partner jointly) the care of a child who is not more than 5 years of age; and
(b) have been, at the date on which he or she first assumes the care of the child with a view to adoption, in the employment of the same employer (including self-employment) for at least an average of 10 hours a week over the immediately preceding 12 or 6 months; and
(c) take maternity or partner’s/paternity leave in respect of the child;
(d) not have previously taken a period of maternity or partner’s/paternity leave in respect of that child under any Act or agreement; and
(e) where taking benefits in relation to a period of partner’s/paternity leave - have maternity leave benefits transferred under §71E from the spouse or partner who has been nominated as being primarily entitled to leave benefit under §71H; and
(f) make an application in accordance with §71I of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act and regulations 7-9 or 10-12 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§8, 18, 24, 71CA(1)(b), 71CB(1), 71CB(3), 71E(4), 71H, 71I
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Regulations 2002 §§7-12

Duration

Benefits are payable to adoptive parents:
(a) for 1 continuous period not exceeding 14 weeks; or
(b) where part of the entitlement is transferred under section 71E - for 1 continuous period per employee or self-employed person, so long as the 2 continuous periods do not together exceed 14 weeks.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71J

Amount

The amount payable to adoptive parents who are employees is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the employee’s ordinary weekly pay before the commencement of the leave, or 100% of the employee’s avearge weekly earnings, whichever is the greater.

The amount payable to adoptive parents who are self-employed is the lesser of:
(a) $458.82 per week; and
(b) either 100% of the self-employed person’s average weekly earnings or $130 per week, whichever is the greater.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71M
Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Rate of Parental Leave Payment) Regulations 2011 §§4, 5

Financing of benefits

The money paid to adoptive parents taking maternity or partner’s/paternity leave is to be paid out of a Crown Bank Account, from money appropriated by Parliament for this purpose.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §71Q

MEDICAL BENEFITS


Pre-natal, childbirth and post-natal care

No relevant entitlements identified.

BREASTFEEDING


Right to nursing breaks or daily reduction of hours of work

An employer must ensure that, so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, appropriate breaks are provided to an employee who is breastfeeding and wishes to breastfeed during a work period.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §69Y(1)
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Remuneration of nursing breaks

Breastfeeding breaks will only be paid if agreed between the parties.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §69Y(2)

Transfer to another post

No provision for transfers between posts during the nursing period identified.

Nursing facilities

An employer must ensure that, so far as is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, appropriate facilities are provided in the workplace for an employee who is breastfeeding and who wishes to breastfeed in the workplace.
Employment Relations Act 2000 §69Y(1)
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

HEALTH PROTECTION


Arrangement of working time


Night work

No relevant provisions identified.

Overtime

No relevant provisions identified.

Work on rest days

No relevant provisions identified.

Time off for medical examinations

A female employee who is pregnant is entitled, before taking maternity leave, to take a total of up to 10 days special leave without pay for reasons connected with her pregnancy.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §15

Leave in case of sickness of the child

No relevant provisions identified.

Other work arrangements

No relevant provisions identified.

Dangerous or unhealthy work


General

Where, by reason of pregnancy, a female employee is unable to perform her work to the safety of herself or others, or is incapable of performing her work adequately, her employer, if no other suitable work is available, may direct her to commence her maternity leave on such date as the employer appoints (including a date that is earlier, by more than 6 weeks, than the expected date of delivery).
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §14

Risk assessment


» Transfer to another post

Where, by reason of pregnancy, a female employee is unable to perform her work to the safety of herself or others or is incapable of performing her work adequately, her employer may temporarily transfer her from one job to another.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §16

Particular risks

No provisions regulating particular risks with respect to pregnant or breastfeeding employees identified.

NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITY


Anti-discrimination measures

Sex (which includes pregnancy and childbirth) and marital status are prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Preferential treatment shall not constitute a breach where granted by reason of:
(a) a woman’s pregnancy or childbirth; or
(b) a person’s responsibility for part time care or fulltime care of children or other dependants.
Human Rights Act 1993 §§21, 74
Employment Relations Act 2000 §105

Prohibition of pregnancy testing

No statutory prohibition of pregnancy testing identified.

Protection from discriminatory dismissal

Employers are prohibited from dismissing an employee on any of the grounds:
(i) the employee’s pregnancy;
(ii) an employee’s state of health during pregnancy, unless her state of health is materially affected by causes which are not related to pregnancy;
(iii) the employee indicates that he or she intends to take parental leave or claim any related benefits; or
(iv) the employee assumes the care of a child with a view of adoption.

Employers are also prohibited from dismissing an employee during any absence from work on parental leave, and for a period of 26 weeks thereafter, except where the employer can prove that the dismissal was effected on account of a redundancy situation and no substantially similar position was available.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§49, 50, 51, 52

Burden of proof

No express provision regulating the burden of proof identified. However, Part 6 of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act requires the employer, for the purposes of defence, to prove that:
(a) any termination during a period of parental leave or 26 weeks thereafter was effected for reasons of a redundancy situation; or
(b) any other termination, which is alleged to have been effected on the parental leave-related grounds, was in fact for a substantial reason not related to:
(i) the pregnancy of the employee or the employee’s spouse or partner; or
(ii) the employee assuming care of a child with a view to adoption; or
(iii) the employee’s benefits under the Act.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§50, 51, 52, 54

Guaranteed right to return to work

Employers are presumed able to keep employees’ positions open for the duration of any parental leave taken, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) the employer proves that this was not possible due to the occurrence of a redundancy situation; and
(b) where the parental leave is for a period longer than 4 weeks - the employer proves that this was not possible because a temporary replacement is not reasonably practicable due to the key position occupied within the employer’s enterprise by the employee.
Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 §§40, 41
click on this symbol to show or hide remarks

Results generated on: 24th July 2014 at 00:22:48.
Page 1 of 1 (1 countries)   

 
^ top
Summaries and full texts in the TRAVAIL Legal Database are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to replace consultation of the authentic legal texts. We update the database regularly but are unable to guarantee that the laws it contains are always complete, accurate and the most recent version. Please contact us if you have updated information.