Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave

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Planning for a New Child

The University of Michigan is committed to supporting faculty and staff when they add children to their families. New parents may consider a number of paid and unpaid time off options when planning to welcome a new child by birth, adoption, foster care or legal guardianship. View a summary chart of time off options for new parents.

It’s important to begin conversations with your supervisor or department administrator to plan as far in advance as possible. Be sure to review the Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave Checklist when planning a leave. Please note that your unit or department may have established guidelines about the use and approval of parental leave in addition to the options outlined on this page.

Maternity (Childbirth) Leave

As of September 1, 2018, the university offers up to six weeks of paid maternity leave (240 hours with a full-time appointment) to support recovery from childbirth. Maternity leave must be taken immediately following childbirth. The following groups are eligible for maternity leave immediately upon hire:

  • Regular faculty
  • Regular campus and Medical School staff with at least a 20% appointment
  • Regular Michigan Medicine staff on the PTO plan with at least a 50% appointment
  • Postdoctoral research fellows

Eligibility for postdoctoral research fellows is subject to the rules of the sponsor or grant regarding payment for the leave period. Faculty and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement should consult their contract regarding eligibility for leave benefits.

FMLA leave may run concurrently with maternity leave. In cases where a cesarean section or medically complicated delivery requires a recovery period of more than six weeks, the faculty or staff member may may supplement maternity leave with other applicable paid time off options (such as extended sick time, short-term sick time or PTO).

Eligible faculty and staff who use maternity leave may also request up to six weeks of parental leave (240 hours with a full-time appointment) to bond with a new baby, for a total of 12 weeks of paid time off. Maternity leave is available to eligible faculty and staff for births that occur on or after September 1, 2018.

Parental Leave

As of September 1, 2018, the university offers up to six weeks (240 hours) of paid parental leave to all eligible parents and legal guardians to bond with a new child. Parental leave must be used within 12 months of the child’s birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship. The following groups are eligible for parental leave:

  • Regular faculty
  • Non-instructional faculty with at least a 20% appointment (for parental leave only; no minimum effort requirement for maternity leave)
  • Regular campus and Medical School staff with at least a 20% appointment
  • Regular Michigan Medicine staff on the PTO plan with at least a 50% appointment
  • Postdoctoral research fellows

Eligibility for postdoctoral research fellows is subject to the rules of the sponsor or grant regarding payment for the leave period. Faculty and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement should consult their contract regarding eligibility for leave benefits. Eligible faculty may choose to take parental leave in lieu of one semester of modified duties.

The birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship must occur after the faculty or staff member has completed six months of service. Parental leave is subject to scheduling approval by the department, although units must allow a single block of time if requested. Parental leave is available to eligible faculty and staff for each birth or placement for adoption, and once every 12 months for foster care and legal guardianship.

FMLA leave may run concurrently with parental leave.

A special eligibility period will apply for new parents who added children to their families shortly before the new parental leave benefit took effect. Eligible faculty and staff who welcomed a new child between July 1 and August 31, 2018, may request up to six weeks of parental leave to use between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019.

How to Request Maternity (Childbirth) or Parental Leave and Report Time

Ann Arbor Campus Staff

Requests for maternity and parental leave for eligible Ann Arbor campus staff are processed by the Shared Services Center using the Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave Request eForm. Maternity and parental leave may be requested on the same form.

The eForm may be completed by the staff member or their supervisor, department administrator or human resources representative, but it should be completed only once for each event. To ensure timely payment of maternity and parental leave benefits, submit the form as soon as possible after the child’s birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship.

Please note that submitting the eForm is necessary in order for you to be able to report maternity or parental leave on your timesheet. It does not constitute approval of your parental leave scheduling request. Your supervisor must approve the scheduling of your parental leave.

Report maternity leave using the time reporting code MRL and parental leave using the code PRL.

Michigan Medicine and Medical School Staff

Requests for maternity and parental leave for Michigan Medicine staff, including the Medical School, should be made by calling the Michigan Medicine HR Solutions Center at (734) 647-5538.

Report maternity leave using the time reporting code MRL and parental leave using the code PRL.

Flint and Dearborn Staff

Flint campus staff should contact Flint Human Resources at (810) 762-3150. Dearborn campus staff should contact Dearborn Human Resources at (313) 593-5190. 

Report maternity leave using the time reporting code MRL and parental leave using the code PRL.

Faculty and Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Like other time off, units will track maternity and parental leave for faculty and postdoctoral research fellows in accordance with local business processes. Research faculty and other non-instructional faculty who are required to report exception time will follow the eForm process through the Shared Services Center to gain access to maternity and parental leave banks. Contact your administrator or human resources representative for assistance. 

Pregnancy and Prenatal Care

For absences related to pregnancy or prenatal care:

  • Eligible faculty and staff may use extended sick time and/or available short-term sick time. (Please note that Michigan Medicine staff must use one week of PTO before beginning extended sick time.)
  • Campus and Medical School staff who are not eligible for extended sick time may use short-term sick time or vacation.
  • Michigan Medicine staff on the PTO plan who are not eligible for extended sick time may use PTO.

As of September 1, 2018, extended sick time is available once an eligible faculty or staff member completes one year of service (formerly two years of service for faculty, campus staff and Medical School staff).

Learn more about these time off options:

Michigan Medicine staff should consult the Michigan Medicine PTO policy.

Using Maternity (Childbirth) or Parental Leave When Birth or Placement Occurs During Absence From Work (Staff Only)

If you are on leave or not at work when you add a child to your family, the availability of maternity and/or parental leave depends on the reason you are not at work and the type of time off you are using. The following scenarios generally do not require a physical return to work unless otherwise indicated by your department or human resources administrator.

Please note that a birth mother who requires more than 6 weeks for physical recovery from childbirth must use extended sick time to cover the additional recovery period. Birth mothers who are not eligible for extended sick time must use available short-term sick time, but may tap into parental leave for recovery if no sick time is available. Michigan Medicine staff on the PTO plan may tap into parental leave instead of PTO for additional recovery if no extended sick time is available.

Guidelines for Birth Mother When Birth Occurs During Absence From Work (Staff Only)
Parent Type of Time Off Before Birth Reason for Time Off Before Birth Availability of Paid Maternity Leave Availability of Paid Parental Leave
Birth Mother Extended sick time, short-term sick time, vacation or PTO Medical, related to pregnancy Immediately following birth Upon being medically cleared to return to work
Birth Mother Extended sick time, short-term sick time, vacation or PTO Medical, not related to pregnancy Immediately following birth Upon being medically cleared to return to work
Birth Mother Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence Medical, related to pregnancy Immediately following birth Upon being medically cleared to return to work (note: may use parental leave for physical recovery that exceeds 6-week maternity leave if no short-term sick time is available)
Birth Mother Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence Medical, not related to pregnancy Immediately following birth Upon scheduled return to work date if within 12 weeks of birth; leave balance will be reduced by amount of time between birth and scheduled return to work date
Birth Mother RIF or Unpaid Leave of Absence (except Medical Leave of Absence) Non-Medical Upon scheduled return to work date if within 6 weeks of birth; leave balance will be reduced by amount of time between birth and scheduled return to work date Upon scheduled return to work date if within 12 weeks of birth; leave balance will be reduced by amount of time between birth and scheduled return to work date
Guidelines for Non-Birth Parent When Event Occurs During Absence From Work (Staff Only)
Parent Type of Time Off Before Event Reason for Time Off Before Event Availability of Paid Parental Leave
Non-Birth Parent Extended sick time, short-term sick time, vacation or PTO Medical Upon being medically cleared to return to work
Non-Birth Parent Unpaid Medical Leave of Absence Medical Upon being medically cleared to return to work if within 6 weeks of event; leave balance will be reduced by amount of time between event and scheduled return to work date
Non-Birth Parent RIF or Unpaid Leave of Absence (except Medical Leave of Absence) Non-Medical Upon scheduled return to work date if within 6 weeks of event; leave balance will be reduced by amount of time between event
and scheduled return to work date

Note: "Event" can refer to a child's birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship.

Regardless of leave status, staff who report time may submit an eForm to request maternity and/or parental leave as soon as the child’s birth or placement takes place. All Michigan Medicine staff should contact the HR Solutions Center at 734-647-5538.

For staff on unpaid leave who will use maternity or parental leave immediately following the child’s birth or placement, a unit administrator should process a PAR transaction to return the staff member to active pay status prior to the submission of the eForm. This will allow the staff member to gain access to the appropriate leave balances for time reporting.

Other Time Off Options for New Parents

New parents who are not eligible for extended sick time, maternity leave or parental leave may consider additional options for time off related to pregnancy, birth, adoption, foster care placement or legal guardianship.

  • Available short-term sick time, vacation time or PTO may be used to cover absences with pay.
  • A faculty or staff member who does not have sufficient paid time off to cover the period of time she is medically unable to work due to pregnancy or childbirth and who wishes to remain off work to care for her child once she is medically able to return to work may request a Medical/Child Care Leave of Absence.
  • A faculty or staff member may request an unpaid Child Care Leave of Absence for six months following birth or adoption (may be extended for up to one year).

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