Virginia state employees to receive paid leave for new parents
State employees who are new parents will be eligible for up to eight weeks of paid leave, according to a new executive order signed by Gov. Ralph Northam on Tuesday.
The executive order authorizes paid parental leave for employees of executive branch state agencies. The new benefit provides up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to enable employees to bond with a newborn, or to care for a child under 18 that has been newly-placed for adoption, foster or custodial care. The paid leave may be used in combination with other leave benefits and will apply to both parents if both are eligible state employees.
Northam also signed a second executive order, which will create the Advisory Commission on Quality Child Care to study child care and early learning options for state employees with young children. The commission will study the feasibility of providing evidence-based early care and learning programs for young children of state employees working on or around Capitol Square in Richmond.
The commission will also explore the creation of similar programs for state workers in other parts of the commonwealth, evaluate benefits related to supporting the early care and learning of employees’ children, and provide recommendations on policies that will help Virginia attract and retain talented state employees with young children.
“The steps we are taking today will support the growth of our children, help parents in managing a work-life balance, contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce, and make the government of this commonwealth an even more attractive place to work,” Northam said in a statement. “Paid parental leave and quality childcare options are critical to the health and wellbeing of children and their parents. Through these actions we are hoping to set an example for other government and private sector employers and send a message to our fellow Virginians and people across the country about what kind of state we are working to build.”