Human Resources

Parental Leave

Section: Human Resources Policies
Policy Name: Parental Leave
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of Human Resources
Origination Date: July 1998
Revisions: November 2009; December 17, 2009; March 2016; February 13, 2018; April 2018
Legacy Policy Number: 4-24
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses parental leave available to all eligible FMLA employees and for employees of the University who are not eligible for FMLA.
    1. Eligible Employee: Benefited employees.
    2. Parental leave: An eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid parental leave during a 12- month period for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or to address pregnancy-related health conditions. Parental leave is generally taken consecutively but may be taken intermittently.  During periods of parental leave, employees must use all eligible, accrued sick leave pursuant to the Sick Leave Policy, and thereafter must use accrued vacation time to remain in paid status.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, an employee is not required to take leave to accommodate pregnancy if there is another reasonable accommodation that can be provided to the known limitations related to the pregnancy of the employee.
    3. Pregnancy: pregnancy, childbirth, or a related condition, including, but not limited to, lactation.

      Note to HR Liaisons / Managers / Supervisors: Employees must receive notice of their rights related to pregnancy and pregnancy accommodation within 10 days of notifying the University of the pregnancy.

  3. POLICY STATEMENTThe 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 has a Family and Medical Leave Policy, but not all employees are eligible. This parental leave policy applies to all benefited employees of the University and will run concurrently with FMLA leave, where applicable. It provides more flexible use of paid leave than the FMLA policy for leave taken for the birth of a child, adoption of a child or placement of a child through foster care. Short-term disability benefits may be available to some eligible employees, for instance, during a period of disability related to pregnancy or for employees recovering from childbirth. Employees have a right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions, including the right to reasonable accommodation to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. For more information, contact the Office of Human Resources at 302-831-2171 or at

    Note to HR Liaisons / Managers / Supervisors: Where an employee is eligible for both parental leave and FMLA leave, designate the leave as parental leave, but notify the employee that parental leave will run concurrent with FMLA leave and count against the employee’s FMLA leave entitlement.

    1. Spouses Employed by the UniversityIf spouses are employees of the University, they are entitled to 12 weeks combined parental leave under this policy.
    2. Notice
      An employee must provide 30 days advance notice to the University if the need for parental leave is foreseeable by providing notice to their supervisor. If 30 days is not possible, the employee must notify the University the same or the next business day after the employee learns of the need for leave.

      Note to HR Liaisons / Supervisors / Managers: Please submit parental leave information and related JED forms to the Office of Human Resources, Payroll and Systems Administration, at

    3. Leave with Pay
      1. Sick Leave for Parental Leave
        1. Employees requiring parental leave must use all eligible, accrued sick leave pursuant to the Sick Leave Policy if they are physically unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion, or other related medical conditions or to care for an immediate family member as stated in the Sick Leave Policy. The University reserves the right to require a doctor’s certification at any time for the use of sick leave.
        2. If possible, employees using sick leave for reasons associated with childbirth should notify their supervisor 30 days 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 as for other non-occupational illnesses and disabilities.
      2.  Vacation
        1. Employees on parental leave must use accrued vacation to remain in paid status during parental leave.  Once paid leave is exhausted, a request for unpaid leave is available in the Leave of Absence Without Pay Policy.
        2. Employees may not use vacation to extend parental leave beyond the 12-week entitlement under this policy. Employees may request a personal leave of absence after exhaustion of the 12 weeks of parental leave with the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer. All such leave beyond the 12-week parental leave shall be designated a personal leave of absence and governed by the Leave of Absence Without Pay Policy.
      3. Continuation of Benefits
        All benefits (healthcare, dental, vision, life insurance, long-term disability insurance and retirement/state pension) continue while an employee is on paid status, i.e., using accrued sick or vacation time for 50 percent or more of the month.
    4. Special Circumstances
      In those cases where an individual’s absence exceeds earned sick leave, the Department Chair or Director may recommend to the Chief Human Resources Officer an additional period of sick leave.
    5. Leave without Pay
      1. Unpaid Leave
        Employees who have exhausted accrued sick leave and vacation may take the remainder of their 12 weeks of parental leave on an unpaid basis.
      2. Effect on Benefits
        If an employee is on unpaid status for more than 50 percent of the month, accrual of sick leave and vacation stops.During a period of parental leave, the University will continue the University’s portion of the premiums for the employee’s healthcare, dental, vision, life insurance and long-term disability benefits up to 12 weeks (measured backward from the first leave date provided that the employee continues to pay any employee-share premium for such plans). Thereafter, if an employee wishes to remain on a personal leave of absence, the employee will be required to pay the full premium cost for benefits continuation. Retirement/state pension plan contributions are not made while employees are on a leave without pay. University contributions to benefit programs stop after the 12 weeks of parental leave are exhausted.
    6. Certification Requirements
      Employees eligible for sick leave that are taking leave under this parental leave policy will be required to submit a certification form provided by the University. Failure to return this form within fifteen (15) calendar days may result in denial of parental leave. If an employee returns an incomplete or insufficient certification form, the employee must supplement the certification within 7 calendar days to cure the deficiency. If the employee fails to cure the deficiency, parental leave may be denied. Also, if an employee fails to return a completed certification, parental leave may be denied. If the parental leave qualifies for FMLA leave, it will be designated as parental leave, and run concurrently with FMLA leave.

      Note to HR Liaisons / Managers / Supervisors: Please use the certification form available at UD Administrative Policy website.