U.Va. expands parental leave
The University of Virginia and the UVA Health System plan to provide employees with eight weeks of paid parental leave.
The benefit can be used within six months of the birth, adoption or foster placement of child. The number of hours granted will be pro-rated for part-time, eligible, salaried employees.
Virginia Tech approved the same expansion in August.
The universities’ announcement follows an executive order issued by Gov. Ralph Northam in June. The order provided eight weeks of paid parental leave to state employees, including mothers and fathers.
Previously, the benefit was available only to those who had given birth, requiring them to use vacation time, sick time or short-term disability.
With Northam’s executive order, the paid benefit was immediately available to classified employees at U.Va. but not to other groups of employees. The new announcement expands the policy to other staff. Part-time staff will have a prorated benefit based on the hours they work.
“Spending time with a child who just joined your family is incredibly important,” U.Va. President Jim Ryan said in a statement. “Besides giving parents and children a chance to bond, studies have shown that paid parental leave makes children healthier, raises productivity at work and prevents parents from having to parents from having to choose between taking care of a child and keeping their jobs.”