Types of parental leave

Information on special leave, primary carer leave, extended leave, partner’s leave and negotiated carer leave.

Policies and employment agreement provisions for parental leave

If employment agreements or workplace policies include parental leave provisions, these will only apply if the provisions are better or the same as those provided by law. But none of the provisions will apply (even if they are better than the law) unless the employment agreement has provisions on all of the following:

  • who can take parental leave and when
  • how long the various types of leave last
  • how well the job is protected during and after parental leave
  • whether or not the employer is going to pay the employee during the leave
  • what procedures the employer and employee have to follow.

If the employment agreement does contain all of the above, then none of the provisions under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 relating to these aspects apply; the provisions in the employment agreement apply.

If the employee's spouse or partner is also taking leave (eg under their employment agreement), the employee can’t take a period of leave under the legislation if the total amount of leave that both are taking would be more than they would get in the Act.

How to notify an employer about taking parental leave.

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Page last revised: 07 October 2022

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