Frequently Asked Questions About Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave

For complete information, visit Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave or review guidelines for supervisors. Please note that SPG 201.30-6 defines "birth mother" as any person who gives birth.

Are maternity and parental leave available for faculty and staff who added children to their families before September 1, 2018?
A special eligibility period will apply for new parents who added children to their families shortly before the new benefits 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. Maternity leave is available for births that occur on September 1, 2018, or later.
Are faculty and staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement eligible for maternity and parental leave?
Faculty and staff who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement should consult their contract regarding eligibility for leave benefits.
Who should I work with to schedule my maternity or parental leave?
Maternity leave occurs immediately after childbirth. Parental leave scheduling is subject to department approval, although units must allow a single block of time if requested. You should begin conversations with your supervisor as early as possible to plan for time off related to adding a child to your family. Depending on your unit’s business processes, you may also need to work with a department administrator or your local human resources representative. Michigan Medicine staff should contact the HR Solutions Center at 734-647-5538. UM-Flint faculty and staff should contact Flint Human Resources at 810-762-3150. UM-Dearborn faculty and staff should contact Dearborn Human Resources at 313-593-5190.
When should I submit the Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leave Request eForm? (Ann Arbor staff)
The SSC’s Maternity and Parental Leave Request eForm must be submitted after the child is born or placed with you for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship. Submit the form as soon as possible following the event to ensure timely processing of leave benefits, even if you do not intend to take parental leave immediately. You may submit the form yourself, or someone else (such as your supervisor, department administrator or HR representative) may submit it on your behalf, but it should only be completed once for each request. Please note that submitting the eForm does not constitute approval from your department to take parental leave. Your supervisor must approve the timing of your leave.
What happens if I submit the eForm late?
You will not be able to record maternity or parental leave on your timesheet if you have not submitted the eForm. For further assistance, contact the Shared Services Center at 734-615-2000. Michigan Medicine staff should contact the HR Solutions Center at 734-647-5538.
When should I submit my leave request to the HR Solutions Center? (Michigan Medicine, including Medical School staff)
Submit a ticket to the Michigan Medicine HR Solutions Center as soon as the department is notified. An HR Solutions Center Specialist will review for eligibility for maternity and parental leave as well as FMLA, and provide notice to the employee and department. For assistance, call 734-647-5538. (Please note that Medical School primary research faculty should follow the eForm process to request maternity or parental leave.)
How are balances added to the maternity and parental leave time reporting codes?
Once the Maternity and Parental Leave Request eForm has been processed by the Shared Services Center, you will gain access to any leave balances for which you are eligible. These balances will be visible in Wolverine Access and can be reported using the time reporting codes MRL (maternity leave) and PRL (parental leave).
Can I use maternity leave to cover absences related to my pregnancy or prenatal care?
Maternity leave is not available until the baby is born. For absences related to pregnancy or prenatal care, you may use other types of time off for which you are eligible, such as extended sick time, short-term sick time, vacation or PTO.
Can I use maternity and parental leave intermittently or part-time?
Maternity leave must be used as a single block of up to 6 weeks of paid time off immediately following childbirth (240 hours with a full-time appointment). Parental leave scheduling is subject to department approval, but units must approve a single block of time if requested. Your unit may have established additional guidelines for scheduling parental leave, including intermittent use. Check with your supervisor, department administrator or human resources representative for more information.
Am I entitled to take parental leave at any time of my choosing?
Eligible faculty and staff are entitled to take up to 6 weeks of parental leave (240 hours with a full-time appointment) in the 12 months following their child’s birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship, with scheduling subject to department approval. Units must approve a single block of time if requested. In partnership with human resources, units may establish consistent parental leave scheduling guidelines as needed to support local business processes.
I work part-time. How much maternity and parental leave am I eligible for?
Your balances of maternity and/or parental leave will be pro-rated from the maximum (6 weeks or 240 hours with a full-time appointment) by your appointment fraction. Please note that regular campus staff and Medical School staff must have at least a 20% appointment and regular hospital and health center staff must have at least a 50% appointment to be eligible for maternity and parental leave. There is no minimum effort requirement for faculty or postdoctoral research fellows, with the exception that non-instructional faculty must have at least a 20% appointment to be eligible for parental leave (no minimum appointment required for maternity leave). Eligibility for postdoctoral research fellows is subject to the rules of the sponsor or grant regarding the leave period. UMOR maintains a central fund to cover maternity or parental leave charges for postdoctoral research fellows, regardless of funding source.
Is an employee eligible to use maternity and parental leave for a baby that was born before they were hired?
No. Eligibility for maternity leave begins upon hire, and the birth or placement event must take place while the employee is employed. To be eligible for parental leave, the birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship must take place after the employee has completed 6 months of service.
Can I use parental leave starting at 6 months of service if I add a child to my family before I complete 6 months?
No. To be eligible for parental leave, the birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship must take place after you have completed 6 months of service.
What happens if I need longer than 6 weeks for medical recovery from childbirth?
In the event that you require longer than 6 weeks for recovery from childbirth (for example, due to a cesarean section or medical complications), you may supplement maternity leave with other types of time off for which you are eligible. Examples of paid time off include extended sick time, short-term sick time, vacation, PTO or parental leave (if you have no other sick time available). An example of unpaid time off is a Medical/Child Care Leave of Absence.
I am expecting twins. Do I qualify for a longer maternity or parental leave?
No. Up to 6 weeks each of maternity and/or parental leave (240 hours with a full-time appointment) are available for each birth event associated with a single pregnancy, whether single or multiple birth.
Can I use maternity and parental leave more than once within a single year?
Yes. Maternity and parental leave are available to eligible faculty and staff following each birth or placement for adoption, regardless of how close together multiple events may occur. However, parental leave may only be used once in a 12-month period following foster care or legal guardianship.
I’m in the process of adopting a child. When does my eligibility to use parental leave begin?
Eligible faculty and staff may use parental leave within 12 months of the date the child is placed with the parents for adoption.
Can I use parental leave to cover absences related to processing an adoption, foster care or legal guardianship before the child has been placed with me?
Parental leave is not available until the date the child is placed with you for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship. For absences that occur before the placement date, you may use other types of time off for which you are eligible, such as vacation or PTO.
When does the availability of parental leave renew for foster care placement and legal guardianship?
Eligible faculty and staff may use parental leave once in the 12 months following a child’s placement for foster care or legal guardianship. The availability renews 12 months from the date of placement.
Does the university require documentation to support a request for maternity or parental leave?
No. The university’s maternity and parental leave policies do not require any specific documentation. However, your department may require documentation under their time off approval guidelines and your eligibility for maternity and/or parental leave will be verified as part of the request process. Check with your supervisor or your local human resources department for more information. View a sample form for documentation of adoption or foster placement. 
Does parental leave carry over if I haven’t used the full 6 weeks by the end of 12 months?
No. You must use parental leave within 12 months of the child’s birth or placement for adoption, foster care or legal guardianship.
Do I need to contact WorkConnections to request maternity or parental leave?
Work Connections is the university’s integrated disability management program. It helps employees and supervisors when an employee experiences an injury or illness that prevents working.
You do not need to contact Work Connections for a parental leave. An uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery typically will not require any involvement from Work Connections for a maternity leave.
One broad exception is that all faculty and staff paid with sponsored funds (codes 20000 and 25000) and postdoctoral research fellows must work with their supervisors to submit appropriate medical documentation to Work Connections for maternity leave. Please note that UMOR maintains a central fund to cover maternity or parental leave charges for postdoctoral research fellows, regardless of funding source.
All faculty and staff should contact Work Connections if medical complications arise during pregnancy or delivery, if your health care provider recommends limiting work activities during pregnancy, or if an extended period of recovery is recommended following delivery.
Can maternity leave be used following a miscarriage or stillbirth?
The university’s sick time plans and Michigan Medicine’s PTO plan would provide paid time off in the event of a pregnancy loss that occurred before childbirth. For absences related to pregnancy loss that will exceed 10 days, units should contact Work Connections. Maternity leave would be available following a stillbirth where there was labor and delivery (or a surgical procedure similar to a c-section). In the event of a stillbirth, please contact the Shared Services Center at 734-615-2000 or the Michigan Medicine HR Solutions Center at 734-647-5538 for support in processing the maternity leave request.
What timekeeping codes are used for maternity and parental leave?
The time reporting code for maternity leave is MRL. The time reporting code for parental leave is PRL. These codes are available as of September 1, 2018.
How are maternity and parental leave tracked for faculty and other employees who do not record time in the Time & Labor system?
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, including Medical School primary research faculty, 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.
Will maternity and parental leave balances be visible in Wolverine Access?
Yes. Any maternity and parental leave balances for which you are eligible will be visible in Wolverine Access once your request has been processed.
What happens if an employee reports more hours of maternity or parental leave than they have available?
Like other types of paid time off, if an employee reports more hours of maternity or parental leave than they have available, the extra hours will default to another pay code based on their available leave balances. If no maternity leave is available, the reported time will default to extended sick pay, short-term sick pay, PTO, or no pay. If no parental leave is available, the reported time will default to vacation, PTO or no pay.
Will I still accrue vacation or PTO during maternity and parental leave?
For staff members, research faculty, librarians, curators and archivists: Vacation and PTO accrue during parental leave. Vacation and PTO do not accrue during maternity leave.
For faculty, there is no accrual of vacation during maternity or parental leave.
I used short-term sick and vacation time to bond with my new baby in August, but am now eligible for parental leave under the new policy. Can I retroactively apply parental leave to the time I took off over the summer?
No. As part of the initial implementation of these new benefits, eligible faculty and staff who added children to their families between July 1 and August 31, 2018, may request to use parental leave between September 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019. It may not be applied retroactively.
What happens if there is a holiday or season day during my maternity leave?
You will record HOL or SEA as appropriate for those days. Maternity leave is available for a defined period of six weeks for medical recovery following childbirth. Holidays and season days do not extend the availability of maternity leave beyond six weeks. Your available maternity leave balance will account for any upcoming holidays or season days.
What happens if there is a holiday or season day during my parental leave?
You will record HOL or SEA as appropriate for those days. Holidays and season days do not count against your available parental leave balance.
Can I take an unpaid Child Care Leave of Absence in addition to parental leave?
Yes. All existing options for faculty and staff to take time off to recover from childbirth or care for a new child remain in place with the addition of maternity and parental leave benefits. For those who are eligible, parental leave replaces the option to use short-term sick to bond with a newly born, newly adopted or newly fostered child within the first year of the child’s birth or arrival in the home.
Can maternity and parental leave run concurrently with FMLA?
Yes. Please review the FMLA tutorial for more information.
Can an employee use maternity or parental leave to receive pay during a period of the year when they wouldn’t ordinarily get paid?
No. Maternity and parental leave only provide salary replacement during periods when the faculty or staff member would ordinarily receive pay. Faculty with U-Year appointments may not request maternity or parental leave over the summer because there is no work expectation from June through August.
What happens if I add a child to my family when I am not working? 
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. Please review the guidelines for accessing maternity and parental leave when the event occurs during an absence from work for more information. Contact your human resources representative with additional questions. All Michigan Medicine staff should contact the HR Solutions Center at 734-647-5538.  
What happens if there is a change in the employee's appointment fraction during maternity or parental leave?
Like other types of time off, maternity and parental leave balances will be proportionally adjusted if the faculty or staff member experiences a change in appointment fraction during the leave.
Does the change in extended sick time eligibility apply to illness or injuries that took place before September 1, 2018?
No. The change in extended sick time eligibility applies to qualifying medical events that take place on or after September 1, 2018.
How does transferring between jobs affect my ability to use maternity and/or parental leave if one of the jobs is not eligible for the leaves?
If you are eligible for maternity and/or parental leave at the time of the child’s birth or placement but later transfer into an ineligible position, your ability to use the leave(s) ends at the time of the transfer. If you are in an ineligible position at the time of the child’s birth or placement but later transfer into an eligible position, you may not use maternity and/or parental leave for that birth or placement because you were not eligible when the event occurred.
May parental leave be used more than once for the same child?
Parental leave may only be used once per child. For example, a faculty or staff member who uses parental leave at the time of foster placement may not request another period of parental leave if the same child is later adopted by the family. For more information, refer to SPG 201.30-6 Paid Maternity (Childbirth) and Parental Leaves.