Parental Leave Policy and Procedures


All eligible staff members at the University


To clarify the entitlements and conditions for taking parental leave at the University


  • The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 provides employment protection, and provision for extended and paid leave
  • Staff members are protected against discrimination on the grounds of sex (including pregnancy and childbirth) in employment under the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Employment Relations Act 2000.
  • Parental leave is provided to protect the health and well-being of the child and parents.
  • It is normally taken in the weeks immediately following the birth or adoption.
  • Effective parental leave provisions can assist in eliminating systemic barriers to career progression for women and staff members with children.


1. Paid and unpaid parental leave is only to be treated as continuous service for the purposes set out in section 43 of the Act.

2. Permanent full or part-time staff members who have been employed by the University for 6 to 12 months (at an average of at least 10 hours a week) by the expected date of delivery of their baby are entitled to parental leave.

3. Staff members who are on fixed term agreements may be eligible for parental leave under the terms and conditions of their collective agreements.

Unpaid extended leave

4. Staff members who have completed one year’s continuous service are entitled to up to 52 weeks unpaid leave.

5. Staff members with more than 6 months service but less than a year’s service are entitled to unpaid leave of up to 26 weeks.

6. If both parents are employed at the University, either parent can take the leave or the leave can be shared.

7. A staff member returning to work after parental leave is entitled to resume work in the same or a similar position unless it is a key position which cannot be filled by a temporary replacement or it is made redundant.

University paid parental leave

8. The University provides eligible staff members up to nine weeks special paid parental leave at the rate of pay they received prior to taking parental leave.

9. Either parent is eligible but only one parent can receive paid leave if both are staff members at the University.

10. If a staff member does not return to work she/he will be expected to refund the total payment made under this provision.

11. This leave is normally taken at the time of childbirth/adoption. Staff members are advised to discuss their needs with their manager.

Government statutory paid parental leave

12. Staff members may be eligible for statutory paid parental leave at a rate specified by the Government.

13. If eligible, staff members can take this leave in addition to the University paid parental leave.

Note - Information on the length of leave, entitlements and rates of pay can be found on The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.

Related procedures

Application process

1. The Application for Parental Leave form is available on the staff intranet.

2. The form must be submitted to the staff members manager three months before the date on which the staff member wishes to commence parental leave and must be accompanied by a certificate signed by a medical practitioner or midwife certifying the expected delivery date or proof of adoption.

3. One month’s notice in writing is required before returning to work.


4. Eligible staff members may take their University paid parental leave in blocks of time of one week or more within 52 weeks following the birth or adoption with the approval of their dean/director/academic head/manager.

5. University paid parental leave cannot be accrued and any remaining University paid parental leave at the end of the 52 weeks will be forfeited.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head covers heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisation Structure

Eligible staff members are staff members who:

  • are permanent and fixed term staff members
  • have completed one year’s continuous service prior to commencing parental leave
  • are intending to return to work after taking parental leave

Parental leave is time off work to care for a newly born or adopted child under five years of age

Similar is defined as having an equivalent salary and grading and involving responsibilities broadly comparable with those exercised in their previous position

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full time or part time basis

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries  

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources
Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Approval date: 10 July 2020
Review date: 10 July 2025