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Parental Leave Policy

Policy Information

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Effective Date: 
July 1, 2014
Last Revised Date: 
October, 2018
Policy Number: 
University Staff Manual 3-108
Responsible Unit: 
Division of Human Resources

Purpose and Summary

The purpose of this policy is to provide paid leave to eligible University of Arizona (University) employees upon the birth or adoption of a child.


Employees who currently serve in a position that is eligible for full benefits (University of Arizona, Arizona Department of Administration, and Arizona Board of Regents sponsored benefits) and have been employed by the University for at least 12 continuous months prior to the commencement of the requested leave are eligible for Parental Leave. For employees on nine-month academic-year work schedule, the summer months between academic years apply toward the 12 months of continuous employment. Parental Leave is available only once during a consecutive 12-month period.


The University of Arizona is committed to providing a work environment that is supportive of employees’ work and personal life obligations. In demonstration of this commitment, the University offers eligible employees up to six weeks of Parental Leave within the first 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. Employees may request additional leave (beyond the six weeks of Parental Leave) by applying their earned sick, vacation, or compensatory time in accordance with Family and Medical Leave Policy guidelines.

To support departmental planning, requests for Parental Leave must be submitted at least 60 days before the leave is expected to begin. The University recognizes that adoption processes and other extenuating circumstances may make advance notice difficult to provide and may grant exceptions to this requirement in such cases.

Coordination with Other Benefits

Family and Medical Leave: The University’s Family and Medical Leave Policy provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child to employees who have been employed for 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the year prior to requesting leave. Parental Leave is designed to run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave. It is not designed to extend the 12-week Family and Medical Leave period.

Temporary Alternative Duty Assignments: Benefits-eligible employees may request a period of up to 16 weeks during which the employee may receive a temporary assignment of alternative duties that will make it more feasible for the employee to remain on active employment following the birth or adoption of a child. Parental Leave may be applied during this 16-week period.

Short-Term Disability Insurance: Employees who have purchased short-term disability insurance may receive payments from their insurance provider during the first six to eight weeks after the birth of a child. Disability insurance coverage will not affect Parental Leave eligibility.

Benefits Continuation and Contributions: Because the employee remains in full pay status during approved Parental Leave, the University will continue to pay the employer portion of previously elected benefits during this leave, and the employee will remain responsible for the employee portion. The employee will continue to earn service credit and will have retirement contributions paid by the University during the approved Paid Parental Leave.

Tenure or Continuing Status Clock Delays: In addition to requesting Parental Leave, tenure-eligible or continuing-eligible employees may request a tenure/continuing status clock delay based on the birth or adoption of a child.

Other Provisions

When Both Parents Are University Employees: When both parents are University employees who meet eligibility guidelines, each is entitled to six weeks of Parental Leave.

Payback Provision: Employees who fail to return to work for at least 30 days after their approved leave for the birth or adoption of a child agree to reimburse the University for the salary and benefits paid by the University for the period of Parental Leave. This reimbursement requirement will be excused if the employee’s failure to return to work is related to the onset, recurrence, or continuation of a serious health condition of the employee or the child.

Frequently Asked Questions*

When can employees take paid parental leave?

Employees can take up to 6 weeks of paid leave at any time during the first 12 weeks following the birth or adoption of a child. The 6 weeks need not be continuous as long as all the time falls within the 12-week period.

How does the employee apply for paid parental leave?

  1. Fill out the Request for Paid Parental Leave form and have your supervisor sign it. To support departmental planning, please complete the form at least 60 days in advance of a planned leave, unless extenuating circumstances make it impossible to do so.
  2. If you wish to flex your leave time, discuss with your supervisor your proposed schedule and whether it can be accommodated given your job functions. Enter the agreement reached on the form.
  3. Submit the form to your department Human Resources representative or business manager.
  4. Work with your department to create a leave plan to cover essential functions during your absence.

Revision History*

Scope revised February 10, 2015, to reflect changes in benefits structure and clarify applicability to faculty on nine-month appointments.

Revisions approved to reduce return to work requirement to 30 days 10/2/18.

* Please note that sections titled Frequently Asked Questions, Sources, Related Information, and Revision History are provided solely for the convenience of users and are not part of the official University policy.