Palm Beach County to introduce six weeks’ paid parental leave for staff

Palm Beach County is to introduce paid parental leave for state staff.

The new benefit, which will come into effect at the end of April, will enable eligible employees to take six weeks of parental leave at full pay for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child. The benefit will run concurrent to mandatory Family Medical Leave (FMLA) arrangements, which require employers to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave for staff to care for a new child.

Employees who have at least one year of service, work full-time, and are not represented by a trade union are eligible for the new paid parental leave. The leave is available equally to both male and female employees.

The benefit was announced by Melissa McKinlay, Palm Beach County commissioner, after the paid parental leave policy was approved during a Board of County Commissioners meeting.

McKinlay said: “As a parent, I’ve experienced first-hand the emotional and financial challenges that come with not having paid leave to take care of a newborn. I’m grateful that our employees will now have this much-needed security during such a critical time.”