“At the time there was no paid parental leave at all,” Evans recalls. “I had saved as much of my annual leave as I could and then took 6 months ‘maternity’ leave, as it was known then.”
“I remember feeling frustrated and angry that I couldn’t stay at home longer and needed to get back to work for income.” - Evans
At the time such was one week of paid leave for having a baby and then one week of family leave. From July this year, ANZ NZ will provide staff 26 weeks of paid parental leave –increasing from the 18 weeks paid leave currently on offer.
The entitlement is one of the most-generous offered by a large employer in NZ. With more than 8000 staff, around 240 A take parent leave each year.
In 1995, Evans’ husband took another six months unpaid maternity parental leave so baby Rhiannon was cared for at home in her first year.
“It was pretty unusual for men to take parental leave in those days and as my husband was a fitter turner in a large industrial factory it was considered very strange by most,” she says.