Parental Leave Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Kansas Board of Regents policy enabled KU to implement a Parental Leave Policy and program effective July 1, 2019. Revisions were made to the policy effective September 19, 2021, as identified on the Human Resource Management (HRM) website and in the policy.
A faculty or staff member appointed at 48% time or greater to a “regular” position (not student or temporary) who has 12 months or more of qualifying KU/State of Kansas service. An employee who has worked for the University for a minimum of six months but not yet long enough to qualify under the Parental Leave policy, may be granted Shared Leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child.
The amount of parental leave granted will be pro-rated based on the appointment percent.
Parental leave may only be granted when the individual is in paid status, not during time periods when the individual is in leave without pay status.
A parent is an individual who has caring and financial support roles for a child who is newly born, adopted, or placed through foster care.
Yes, for adoption of a child, the child can be up to six (6) years of age. For placement through foster care, the child can be any age.
Parental leave can be used for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, within the 12 weeks immediately following the qualifying event. Parental Leave can also be used 30 days prior due to an FMLA qualifying event related to the birth/placement of a child.
Both parents may be granted parental leave. However, one parent must be identified as the “primary caregiver” and the other parent as the “secondary caregiver.”
The University will accept the self-designation by the parent(s). If false reporting is later determined, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action, salary repayment, or leave adjustments.
The “primary caregiver” may be granted up to 8 weeks, and the “secondary caregiver” may be granted up to 4 weeks.
Multiple births do not increase the amount of available parental leave time.
Within the 12 weeks after the birth, adoption or foster care placement, Parental Leave may be taken at one time or at different times intermittently. A supervisor must authorize a plan for how Parental Leave is used on an intermittent basis if the leave is FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) qualifying. The leave may be taken 30 days prior due to an FMLA qualifying event related to the birth/placement of a child.
Parental leave may be taken in conjunction with other forms of leave for which the employee is eligible if the additional leave is approved by the supervisor or unit/department head, e.g. vacation leave, sick leave, accrued compensatory time, etc. The combined total of all leaves reported and hours worked cannot exceed the scheduled work hours for the day.
Unused parental leave is forfeited. It is not accrued or maintained as a balance and cannot be donated.
The faculty or staff member should notify the unit/department in accordance with normal leave request procedures. Faculty and staff are urged to provide as much advance notice as possible of the leave request so the unit/department can make coverage plans. The faculty or staff member must then complete a Parental Leave Request form available on the HRM website and submit it to the unit/department head and Human Resource Management (HRM).
The unit/department head must allow up to the maximum allowable parental leave for which the individual is eligible. In addition, the allowable paid or unpaid leave provided by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) can only be denied in very rare circumstances after review by HRM.
For Parental Leave beginning on or after the birth or placement date, the University will accept the affirmation made by the employee. If false reporting is later determined, the individual may be subject to disciplinary action, salary repayment, or leave adjustments. Medical documentation may be required for approval of FMLA coverage.
Many employees requesting Parental Leave may also qualify for coverage under the FMLA. HRM can therefore combine the two reviews to ensure the employee receives the full coverage and protections offered by these leave programs. If requesting FMLA leave for Parental Leave 30 days prior to the child being born/ placed, the employee should simultaneously submit a request for FMLA coverage. For guidance on what form to use or what documentation is needed, please contact Human Resource Management email@example.com.
After receiving the completed Parental Leave Request Form, HRM will notify in writing the employee, the direct supervisor, and the department head regarding both FMLA and parental leave determination.
Parental leave taken should be reported by all faculty and staff as an “absence” in the HR/Pay system using the absence “Type” of “Parental Leave” and selecting the appropriate “Absence Name and Reason.” The absence request will be routed to the direct supervisor for approval. Parental leave may be reported in quarter hour increments even for exempt (salaried) individuals.
An employee may qualify for parental leave that requires 12 months of KU/state of Kansas service and be ineligible for FMLA coverage that in part requires 1,250 hours of work within the past 12 months.
If parental leave is also FMLA qualifying a faculty member may request that the Vice Provost for Faculty Development approve an interruption to the tenure clock pursuant to the “Interruption of the Probationary Period (Tenure Clock)” policy. Otherwise, parental leave has no effect on the tenure clock.
Faculty who are not eligible for parental leave may wish to apply for modified instructional duties. Faculty who are eligible for parental leave may, in consultation with the Chairperson and Dean, determine which arrangement best suits parental and instructional responsibilities.
Parental leave will not count against holidays. Paid holiday credit will still be provided for those who are eligible.
An employee who has worked for the University for a minimum of six months but not yet long enough to qualify under the Parental Leave policy, may be granted Shared Leave for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child.
A supervisor or unit/department head cannot deny parental leave. The employee or supervisor should contact HRM at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns.