The Paid Parental Leave Policy supports the University’s work-life balance efforts and will be effective Jan. 1, 2022. The new leave will provide eligible employees up to four work weeks (20 days/160 hours maximum) of paid leave time for recovery from childbirth and/or to bond with their newborn child, adopted child, or a child placed for adoption or foster care.
The University will provide a one-time temporary, transitional period for certain employees who are currently on an approved leave as of Jan. 1, 2022 (i.e., Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), Pregnancy Recovery Leave (PRL), Faculty Maternity Leave). The amount of Paid Parental Leave hours will be prorated based on the leave entitlement remaining per employee:
- For example, an employee who delivered a child on Oct. 11, 2021, is on approved FMLA for 10 weeks prior to the winter holiday break (Dec. 23, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022) with 2 weeks of FMLA entitlement remaining after Jan. 1, 2022; therefore, this employee will be eligible for 2 weeks (10 days/80 hours maximum) of parental leave beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
- For example, an employee who delivered a child on Dec. 2, 2021, is on approved FMLA for 3 weeks prior to the winter holiday break (Dec. 23, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022) with 9 weeks of FMLA entitlement remaining after Jan. 1, 2022; therefore, this employee will be eligible for 4 weeks (20 days/160 hours maximum) of parental leave beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are all employees eligible to receive parental leave? The policy applies to all benefits-eligible, regular, full-time and part-time faculty and staff employees.
2. Are new employees who recently started working for the University eligible to receive parental leave? Yes, as long as the qualifying event (i.e., birth, adoption or foster care placement) occurs on or after the policy effective date of Jan. 1, 2022.
3. Is an application required to request parental leave? Yes, employees must submit the Paid Parental Leave Request Form before parental leave hours will be approved.
4. Will parental leave hours run concurrently with other leave policies? Yes, parental leave hours will run concurrently with unpaid FMLA (up to a maximum of 12 weeks) and/or unpaid PRL (up to a maximum of 8 weeks), if applicable and approved. For eligible faculty only, parental leave hours may be taken at any time during the faculty member’s regular appointment.
5. Do I have to use parental leave hours on a continuous/consecutive basis? Yes, parental leave hours must be used on a continuous/consecutive basis subject to a minimum of one-week increments. No intermittent hours/days or reduced schedule requests will be permitted.
6. Is an employee eligible to use parental leave more than once? Yes, parental leave may be used more than once, but not within the same 12-month period. Parental leave follows the same 12-month, rolling backward period as FMLA. For example, an employee delivers a child on March 1, 2022, and uses 4 weeks of parental leave. If the same employee delivers another child on or after March 1, 2023, the employee will be eligible for an additional 4 weeks of parental leave.
7. How long after birth, adoption, or foster care placement may an employee request parental leave? For qualifying events on or after Jan. 1, 2022, an employee has 12 months from the date of the event to request and use parental leave.
8. What are the documentation requirements to verify birth, adoption, or foster care placement? The same documentation requirements apply as for FMLA, PRL, Faculty Maternity Leave, etc. Employees must provide the HR Leave Administrator with birth certificate, court documents, etc.
9. Do employees have a choice to use parental leave, or is it mandatory to use parental leave hours if eligible? Employees will continue to have a choice to use all paid leave(s) (i.e., annual leave, sick leave, compensatory time and/or parental leave). Each employee must indicate an order of preference to use paid leave hours when requesting time off work for a qualifying reason.
- NOTE: For employees enrolled in a short-term disability (STD) plan, parental leave hours function like sick leave hours and can be used only during the applicable STD benefit waiting period (i.e., 14- or 29-days), but not while an employee is actively receiving weekly STD payments.
10. If both parents work at UA, are they subject to a combined 4 weeks of parental leave? No, each UA employee is eligible for up to four weeks (20 days/160 hours maximum) of parental leave. Combined entitlement limitations for other leave policies such as FMLA will continue to apply.