Legal boost for new parents

NZ Herald 10 July 2014
Employees on paid parental leave will be able to return to work occasionally on so-called “keeping in touch days” without losing their entitlement under the moves to increase the flexibility of the scheme.

The Government’s Budget policy to extend paid parental leave from 14 to 18 weeks went out for public consultation yesterday and it includes the proposal to allow employees to work limited days during that leave period.

Under present law employees could in theory lose their paid parental leave even by returning to work for a few paid hours to complete a handover or attend a training session.

A spokeswoman for Labour Minister Simon Bridges said data on how many people had lost entitlements in that way had not been kept but the issue had been the subject of complaints.

Under the Government proposal, which is based on the “keeping in touch days” offered as part of the UK’s paid parental leave regime, employees will be able to do five days paid work during their paid parental leave beginning four weeks after the birth of their child.