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IU Employees Pleased By New Parental Leave Effective Date

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Photo: Gretchen Frazee

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

Some Indiana University employees say they were pleasantly surprised to learn the university is pushing up the effective date for an expanded paid parental leave policy.

Instead of applying to adoptions or births on or after July 1, staff members who welcomed a new child on April 14 or later qualify for six weeks of paid leave. That’s the date IU President Michael McRobbie announced the policy at a Board of Trustees meeting.

That’s good news for IU Sociology Professor Jessica Calarco, who’s expecting her second child in June. Her husband’s a staff member at IU and will now be able to take paid parental leave instead of using vacation time.

“I’m a sociologist and I study kids and families,” Calarco says. “And the research tells us that dads’ involvements, especially early on in kids’ lives, has huge benefits  both for the child and also for the family as a whole in terms of dads being more egalitarian in terms of their childcare roles and in terms of their housework.”

Calarco says her family’s still trying to figure out if the new policy will change their post-birth plans.

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 already offers six weeks of paid parental leave for faculty members.

The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t guarantee any paid leave  for new parents. A legislative study committee will explore the option of offering a voluntary paid leave policy in Indiana this summer.

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