There are some aspects of employment law that are of particular interest to single parents. The following is an overview. Note that for the most up-to-date information you should always check with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on freephone 0800 20 90 20.

If you have problems with your employment, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment can also provide information about your rights and obligations, and what to do.

If you and your employer can’t resolve the problem by talking, a mediator or a labour inspector from the Ministry may be able to help. (This service is free). If this doesn't provide resolution, the issue can be taken to the Employment Relations Authority or later to the Employment Court

Minimum Employee Rights

All employees are have minimum employment rights based on the minimum pay and conditions you must receive and the way you must be treated at work. 


Employers are required to provide appropriate breaks and facilities for employees who wish to breastfeed or express breast milk while at work or during work time where this is reasonable and practicable under the circumstances. 


The legal minimum annual leave in New Zealand is currently four weeks, plus eleven days of public holidays. 

Sick Leave

After six months’ employment with an employer, you are entitled to five days' paid sick leave a year. You can take sick leave for yourself or to care for your spouse or partner, dependent child or parent. Unused sick leave can accumulate up to 20 days.

Parental Leave

It is illegal for an employer to either dismiss or discriminate against an employee on grounds of pregnancy or for taking parental leave.

You may be entitled to parental leave if you have worked for the same employer for an average of at least 10 hours per week, and at least one hour in every week or 40 hours in every month, for either the immediately preceding six or 12 months before the expected due date of your baby or the date you first assume care of a child you intend adopting.