U-M introduces paid maternity and parental leave

September 4, 2018  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Michigan Medicine faculty and staff who add children to their families can now request paid parental leave under a university policy that took effect Sept. 1.

The university’s new maternity (childbirth) leave policy provides up to six weeks of paid time off for recovery from childbirth. A separate parental leave benefit provides all eligible parents, including fathers, with up to six weeks of paid time off to bond with a new child. Eligible birth mothers may use both leaves for a total of 12 weeks.

In addition to the new paid leaves, eligibility for extended sick time has been reduced from two years of service to one year for faculty, campus staff and medical school staff as of Sept. 1. It applies to all uses of extended sick time, including those not related to pregnancy or childbirth. (This change does not affect eligibility for Michigan Medicine staff on the PTO plan, which already begins at one year of service.)

Multiple university groups have called for more significant parental leave options in recent years, including the Michigan Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the ADVANCE Program, CEW+ and the Voices of the Staff benefits team. The expansion of paid parental leave at U-M reflects this engagement as well as a growing national dialogue on the benefits of extended leaves for parents, children and families.

The new leave benefits are separate from existing types of time off under the university’s sick time and vacation policies and Michigan Medicine’s PTO policy. Faculty and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement should consult their contract regarding eligibility for leave benefits.

Under the new policy, maternity leave is available upon hire to eligible faculty and staff. It must be used as a single block of up to six weeks immediately following delivery. Absences related to pregnancy, prenatal care or a recovery period of more than six weeks will continue to be covered by other types of time off, such as extended sick time or PTO.

Eligible faculty and staff may take parental leave within one year of a child’s birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship. The birth or placement with the parents must occur after the faculty or staff member has completed six months of service. Faculty who are eligible to take a period of modified duties may either do so or take parental leave instead.

A special eligibility period will apply for new parents who added children to their families shortly before the new benefits took effect. Eligible faculty and staff who welcomed a new child between July 1 and Aug. 31 may request up to six weeks of parental leave to use within one year of Sept. 1. Maternity leave is available for births that occur on September 1 or later.

More information about the new benefits is available on the HR website.