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Information On Paid Parental Leave

On-line Calculator Boosts Access To Information On Paid Parental Leave

An innovative web-based entitlement calculator will improve access to detailed information on New Zealander’s rights and obligations regarding paid parental leave.

The law change applies to eligible parents taking leave to care for babies due, born or adopted on or after July 1 this year. A payment of up to $325 will replace wages for the first 12 weeks of parental leave.

Launched in Wellington today, the calculator was designed by a local company, CG Computing and is available on the Department of Labour Employment Relations Service website.

It translates the new Act into a simple question and answer series based on the different scenarios that could apply to parents applying for leave and employers asked to grant it.

Laila Harré says it enables both parents and employers to quickly work out their entitlements and obligations regarding paid parental leave and print out the forms and other information they need to apply.

“It also informs people of their broader entitlements under the reformed Act, such as 10 days unpaid special leave that can be used for medical appointments, ante-natal classes and other maternity-related care.”

She says the success of paid parental leave will rely on as many eligible families as possible using the scheme.

“Because paid parental leave is income replacement and not a benefit the process of correctly working out entitlements can be quite technical.

“We didn’t want this to act as a barrier to either workers or employers, and I’m hopeful that this design will ensure that partners in paid parental leave agreements will give and receive what they should.”

As well as providing an entitlement calculator, the site also provides a help function with information on things like calculating pay rates and the difference between fixed and short-term contracts.

“I’m hopeful that this tool will also be widely used by midwives, GPs, trade unions and other groups working with families to ensure people get all that they are due on the birth of a child,” Laila Harré.

“It’s also another step in the right direction for the Labour-Alliance Government’s commitment to using innovative technology to boosting public access to official information.

“This is an adaptable design that opens the door for similar projects in other areas and government departments where individual entitlements need to be calculated.”

The calculator can be found at:
http://www.ers.dol.govt.nz/parentalleave/calculators/

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