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IU Expanding Paid Parental Leave Policy To Staff

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Photo: Gretchen Frazee

The United States is the only developed country that doesn't require some sort of paid leave for new parents.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced during Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting the university will start offering fully-paid family leave for staff employees. The university already offers the benefits to full-time faculty.

The new policy will go into effect July 1 and provide mothers and fathers with up to six weeks paid leave after a birth or adoption, regardless of their relationship status. Staff employees who’ve worked for the university for at least one year before the date of birth or adoption in a non-temporary position for at least 30 hours per week are eligible for the leave. Staff members can take up to two parental leaves during the course of their careers.

IU says the new parental leave policy doesn’t cut into any other paid leave employees earn, such as paid time off or sick time.

“We have found from our staff, who are consistently getting younger as time goes on, that this is something that they want,” says IU Spokesperson Margie Smith-Simmons. “They want that flexibility of work and family.”

Simmons says the expanded policy could prove valuable in helping the university retain top talent.

The National Partnership for Women and Children gave Indiana a D minus in its annual report on paid family leave policies last year. Indiana was one of a dozen states that received a failing grade.

Smith-Simmons says IU’s policy sets it apart from many other state employers.

“I’m hopeful that Indiana University will be seen as a leader because, frankly, we are one of the largest employers in the state,” she says. “And, so, it will be beneficial for us to be able to offer this to our employees.”

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