Paid parental leave is set to increase from July this year.

The increase takes place from July 1, with the maximum weekly rate for paid parental leave going from $712.17 to $754.87 gross per week.

The increase is a legislated annual increase under the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 and the increase is in line with increases to average weekly earnings.

The minimum parental leave payment rate for self-employed parents will increase this year from $227 to $231.50 gross per week to reflect the minimum wage increase on 1 April this year.

“We know families are doing it hard right now,” Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden said.

“This coalition Government is committed to making sure that families and parents receive the support they need to give their new child the best start to life. Paid parental leave is one way that this is done.”

Eligible parents can receive payments for up to 26 weeks.

“I wish to pass on my congratulations to parents and grandparents welcoming their newborns to the world. I hope the days and months ahead are filled with joy.

“I also wish to acknowledge that for some Kiwis accessing paid parental leave comes with heartbreak. The scheme and increase applies equally to those suffering miscarriage or stillbirth,” said Van Velden.