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Extending paid parental leave for parents of pre-term babies

The National-led government is extending paid parental leave for parents of pre-term babies.

Premature or pre-term babies are the most vulnerable New Zealanders.

They are at greater risk of disease and development problems. They often need extended care in hospital. Their parents go through a difficult time of stress and worry while their little ones make a start in life.

So I am pleased to let you know that National, along with ACT Leader David Seymour, are extending paid parental leave for parents of pre-term babies.

Parents will be entitled to a longer period of parental leave payments than the standard 18 weeks (as at 1 April 2016) if their baby is born before 37 weeks of gestation – which is considered full term.

For each week the baby is born prior to 37 weeks, the parents will receive an extra weekly payment. For example, a mother who gives birth at 28 weeks would receive nine extra weekly payments to 37 weeks, before the usual paid parental leave takes effect.

This extra support for parents of pre-term babies is one more thing we’re doing to help give children get a good start in life.

It builds on the work we started this year, to extend paid parental leave payments for all new parents from 14 to 16 weeks. From 1 April 2016, we’re extending paid parental further to 18 weeks and making it available to more people.

Click here to learn more about how National is helping families get ahead.

Hon Michael Woodhouse
Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

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