Section: Personnel
Policy Number: 4-24
Policy Name: Parental Leave
Date: July 1998
Revisions: November 2009; December 17, 2009


    The University of Delaware recognizes the importance of having a parental leave policy for men and women which helps employees balance the responsibilities of work and parenthood. The University's policy encourages employees to develop a dialogue with their immediate supervisors so their career paths can be maintained while assuming the added responsibilities of parenthood. It is the policy of the University to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which grants an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for certain circumstances (see personnel policy 4-37). The University will designate parental leave as Family Medical Leave, if the employee qualifies. The following policy sets forth the options that are available to University employees.

    An eligible employee is entitled to up to a total of 12 workweeks of parental leave during a 12- month period for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care. This parental leave will count against the employee's total family and medical leave entitlement of 12 weeks in the 12- month period. Generally, such parental leave is unpaid. However, for maternity leave, an employee may use accrued sick leave if otherwise eligible, and vacation as part of her maternity leave. For paternity leave, an employee may use accrued vacation as part of his paternity leave. The provisions of the University policy regarding family leave are also applicable to parental leave, and are incorporated herein by reference. (see personnel policy 4-37)


    1. Leave with Pay (paid status)
      1. Sick Leave for Maternity Leave

        1. Employees may use accrued sick leave if they are physically unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or other related medical conditions. Sick leave benefits may also be used according to the appropriate extended sick leave policy in the event complications or other extenuating circumstances require extended absence from work. The University reserves the right to require a doctor's certification at any time for the use of sick leave.

        2. If possible, employees requesting sick leave for reasons associated with childbirth must notify their supervisor three months prior to the anticipated date of the leave. Employees are encouraged to follow professional advice concerning the length of time worked during pregnancy and the appropriate time to resume work after childbirth or related medical conditions.

        3. The same requirements, terms and restrictions apply to the administration of sick leave for pregnancy-related conditions as for other non-occupational illnesses and disabilities.

        4. Sick leave taken in connection with pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition that constitutes a serious health condition will be counted against an employee's entitlement of up to 12 weeks of maternity leave.

      2. Vacation

        a. Employees may use accrued vacation to remain on paid status during a period of parental leave.

        b. Employees who have not used all of their vacation for recovery from childbirth or related medical conditions may do so and thereby extend the time spent on paid parental leave. Approval of the immediate supervisor is required.

      3. Continuation of Benefits

        All benefits continue while an employee is on paid status, i.e., using accrued sick or vacation time for 50 percent or more of the month (hospital-medical surgical; dental; life insurance; disability insurance; TIAA/CREF/Fidelity/State pension contributions)

    2. Leave without Pay (unpaid status)
    3. Employees who have exhausted accrued sick leave and vacation may request a personal leave of absence without pay. The general and otherwise applicable provisions of the university's leave policy will apply. Eligible employees may remain on parental leave during or after the recovery period for childbirth or related medical condition, up to a total combined leave (sick leave, vacation, parental, and family and medical leave) of 12 weeks in a 12-month period. Approval of the immediate supervisor is required for leaves of absence without pay for 1 month or less. Approval of the Vice President for Administration is necessary for a leave of absence without pay for more than 1 month.
      (See Policy 4-51 for more detailed information on leave of absence without pay.)

      If a personal leave of absence has been granted during a recovery period for a serious health condition, approval will also be needed if an employee requests a leave of absence without pay beyond that time frame, i.e., for parenting.

      If an employee is on unpaid status for 50 percent or more of the month, accrual of sick leave and vacation stops and pension plan contributions will not be made, i.e., to TIAA/CREF, Fidelity or State plans.

      During a period of approved parental leave, the University will continue the University's portion of the premiums for the employee's hospital-medical- surgical and dental benefits up to 12 weeks (measured backward from the first leave date). Thereafter, if an employee wishes to remain on parental leave, the employee will be required to pay the full premium cost of continued hospital-medical-surgical and dental benefits. University contributions to benefit programs stop after the 12 weeks of parental leave are exhausted. If the employee fails to return from parental leave, the University may seek to recover its portion of the health premiums paid for the employee during the leave.
      (For detailed information, contact the Benefits Office.)


      See UD Policy 4-37, Certification Requirements
      The University of Delaware will distribute the form entitled Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's Serious Health Condition (WH-380E) that impacts only the employee (self). Should the leave be required by an employee's family member as defined by the the FMLA guidelines, the form entitled Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Health Condition (WH-380F) will be distributed.

      Submitted by: Labor Relations