Indiana University introduces six weeks of paid parental leave

US-based Indiana University (IU) has introduced a new paid parental leave policy for staff, which will allow eligible employees to take up to six weeks of fully-paid leave.

The new policy, which comes into effect on 1 July 2017, will enable both mothers and fathers whose child is born or adopted on or after 1 July to take up to six weeks of leave at full pay, regardless of the employee’s martial or relationship status.

The paid leave will be applicable for employees who hold non-temporary positions, and who work 30 hours or more per week. Staff also need to have been continuously employed in a benefits-eligible job role for at least 12 months before the date of the birth or adoption of a child to be able to apply for the parental leave.

Eligible employees will be able to take up to two parental leave breaks while working at Indiana University.

Employees will be able to use the leave on an intermittent basis, although it must be used within the six months following the birth or adoption of a child. If both parents work at the university, then each employee will still be entitled to take six weeks of paid leave each.

The parental leave does not impact on other forms of paid leave that employees may have accrued, such as paid time off or sick days.

The new parental leave benefit will run concurrently with the mandatory Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for applicable staff. FMLA requires employers to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave for staff to care for a new child.

The new policy will build upon the university’s current family-friendly benefits offering, which includes a website that provides access to emergency childcare services and helps families find qualified childcare providers. IU is also investing in expanding its Children’s Centre, which provides early years care and education for the children of faculty, staff and students, to enable 40 more children to be enrolled by next year.

The university already has a paid parental leave policy in place for full-time faculty staff for the birth or adoption of a child.

Michael McRobbie, president at Indiana University, said: “This major new policy underscores the value Indiana University places on the wellbeing of its employees, and it is one that will help IU continue to attract and retain outstanding staff employees as the university prepares to enter its third century of service to the state, nation and world.

“The addition of IU’s new paid parental leave policy for staff members places IU well ahead of most of the state’s employers in this regard and further solidifies IU’s position as an employer of choice.”