Skip to main content
Public 2006 No 20

Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Paid Parental Leave for Self-Employed Persons) Amendment Act 2006

2006 legislation extends paid parental leave to self-employed parents.

Paid parental leave has been available to employees since 2002. It was extended to self-employed parents in legislation that came into force on 1 July 2006.

Self-employed mothers who have been working an average of 10 hours per week during either the previous 6 or 12 months before the expected date of delivery of a child will be entitled to 14 weeks' paid parental leave. Paid parental leave is also available to a self-employed person who assumes the care of a child with a view to adoption.

Key features

A self-employed person is required to take a break from work while receiving parental leave payments, but may maintain a level of oversight of the business during the parental leave period.

Parental leave payments may be transferred by a selfemployed mother to an eligible partner who may be either an eligible employee or an eligible self-employed person. Eligible mothers who are employees may now transfer payments to eligible self-employed partners as well as employed partners.

Parental leave payments will be set at a rate equal to a self-employed person's average weekly earnings, up to a maximum consistent with that payable to an employee. The rate is set by Order in Council and is $372.12 per week for the year beginning 1 July 2006.

Self-employed persons who earn less than the minimum wage for a minimum of 10 hours per week will be entitled to parental leave payments at a flat rate equivalent to 10 hours per week at the rate of the minimum wage. That rate is $102.50 per week for the year beginning 1 July 2006.

The requirement for a further period of employment before a subsequent application for paid parental leave can be made has also been relaxed from 12 months to 6 months.

The Act provides for regulations prescribing application requirements.

The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Regulations 2006 were gazetted on 25 May 2006. An application must be accompanied by either:

  1. a statement and declaration by a chartered accountant, set out in the prescribed form; or
  2. a declaration made by the parent, in accordance with the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957, in the prescribed form.

Further information for self-employed persons, employers, chartered accountants and Justices of the Peace is available on the former Department of Labour, now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website at or by calling 0800 20 90 20 during business hours.