On 1 March, Inland Revenue is introducing a number of changes to make paid parental leave more straightforward.

Inland Revenue is moving paid parental leave into thei new system as part of the final phase of their Business Transformation.

On 1 March they’re making a number of changes to make paid parental leave more straightforward, including allowing New Zealand families to manage their paid parental leave online in myIR.

What is paid parental leave?

Paid parental leave is a government funded entitlement paid to mothers and other primary carers, such as adoptive parents, when they take parental leave or stop working to care for their new-born baby or a child under the age of six who is now in their care.

These payments go towards the loss of income that primary carers experience when they stop work to care for a new baby or child. These payments generally cover up to the first 26 weeks after a new baby is born, or a child under the age of six comes into care.

Who qualifies for paid parental leave?

If you take time off work to care for your baby or a child who has come into your care, you may be able to get paid parental leave.

To qualify you must have permanent primary responsibility and be:

  • an expectant or new mother
  • an adoptive parent
  • a Home for Life parent
  • a whāngai parent
  • a grandparent with full-time care
  • a permanent guardian.

You also need to have worked, for an employer or as self-employed, an average of 10 hours or more a week, in at least 26 of the weeks in the year before:

  • your due date
  • the date the child comes into your care

It does not matter how many employers you had or if there were weeks when you did not work.

All or a portion of the paid parental leave entitlement can be transferred to the mother or primary carer’s partner provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

What’s changing?

From 1 March 2021 paid parental leave will move into our new system. This will result in a number of benefits for paid parental leave customers including:

  • Better self-management and visibility in myIR
  • Improved application processes through myIR
  • Payments being received earlier in the week.

Key changes – Applications

From 1 March 2021 Inland Revenue will no longer issue paper application/transfer forms. Customers will be able to apply for paid parental leave using the new registration web request in their myIR account. Applications can be made over the phone by exception for customers without internet access.

The new myIR application form will pre-populate with information that Inland Revenue holds about the customer, such as contact details — for employees this will include the names of their current employers and an estimate of their average weekly income. Customers will be able to amend some of this information as required.

myIR Customers will be able to manage their paid parental leave details in myIR, including being able to update their contact and bank account details, notify us of a change of circumstances and request a transfer of paid parental leave entitlements to a partner.

Employers and Tax Agents

From 1 March, we’ll be able to pre-populate paid parental leave applications in myIR with employer information. This change will mean employers and tax agents (or anyone with the authority to sign a statutory declaration) will no longer need to verify income details for employees or clients applying for paid parental leave.

Payments

When paid parental leave is moved into our new system, payments to customers will be paid earlier in the week; with payments moving from Thursday to Tuesday.

Visit www.ird.govt.nz/ppl-changes for more information on the paid parental leave changes

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