This week, Small Business editor Caitlyn Sykes interviews business owners about how they manage their parental leave.

Arlene and Ben Adams have owned Lower Hutt-based dog grooming and holiday retreat business Waglands for six years. They have a three-year-old son, Anthony, and are currently expecting a daughter.

What period of parental leave did you take from the business when your son was born, and what period are you planning to take when your daughter arrives?
Arlene: We plan to take a similar amount of time with baby number two as we did with our son, which is the 14 weeks' paid parental leave we're entitled to.

My ability to work through this period is significantly reduced, as is Ben's, although the nature of our involvement with the business means neither of us can make a completely clean break.

I'm our main dog groomer and I specialise in hand scissor work on pet and show dogs. While we have other staff that can do the basic grooming, my level of work is quite different.

Towards the end of my last parental leave period we had a student nanny come for two days a week, which allowed me to gradually return to my grooming customers.


Working and living on site worked brilliantly for both myself and the student nanny because we were always close by.