Parental Leave


Parental leave may be taken in the following events:

  • Birth
  • Adoption, foster placement with the goal of adoption, or guardianship placement of a child up to the age of 18.
  • Stillbirth
  • Surrogacy
  • Miscarriage

To be eligible for parental leave, parents must meet both of the following criteria:

Full Benefits-Eligible

Must be scheduled to work 20 hours per week (.50 FTE) or greater in a position that is expected to continue for six months or more.

Employed 12 Continuous Months

Must have been employed by the University for at least 12 continuous months* ** immediately prior to the start of your requested leave.

* Employment as a student worker or ancillary employee does not apply toward the 12-month requirement. Employees on academic-year schedules may count summer months as long as they are working during consecutive academic years. Information about graduate assistants/associates and other specific employment categories can be found in the FAQ section below.

** UAGC employees' continuous service date will be credited toward eligibility.

How Parental Leave Works

Parental leave is designed to support parents in balancing their work responsibilities with their family, medical, and emotional needs.

Eligible employees may request to take up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave and 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave during the 12-month period following the eligible event listed in the Eligibility section. You may be approved for, and begin taking, parental leave up to two weeks before the anticipated eligible event.

Limit Once Per 12-Month Period

You are eligible for no more than 12 weeks of paid parental leave and 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave within a consecutive 12-month period, even if you have multiple children.

Limit Once Per Child

You may take paid and unpaid parental leave no more than once for events involving the same child.

Must Return to Work for at least 30 Days

The 30-day requirement is based on calendar days, not FTE. If you do not return to work, you must reimburse the University for the salary and benefits paid on your behalf during the paid parental leave period.

Effect on Pay and Benefits

Paid Parental Leave (and other accrued paid leave)

  • You continue receiving full pay.
  • The University continues to pay the employer portion of your benefits, and you continue to pay employee portion.
  • You continue to earn service credit and University retirement contributions.
  • You continue to accrue vacation and sick time.

Unpaid Parental Leave

During the period of unpaid parental leave, you must use any sick, vacation, or compensatory time that you have accrued. You may use your accrued time in any order.

If you choose to continue unpaid parental leave after exhausting your accrued leave balances, you will be responsible for the employee portion of your elected benefits and will be billed for those premiums. You will not accrue vacation or sick time. You will also not receive University retirement contributions nor be required to make retirement contributions.

How to Use Parental Leave

To take parental leave, you must obtain approval and document the request. Please follow this process.

Step 1: Talk to your supervisor

Discuss with your supervisor your desired leave plan, including whether you wish to take continuous or intermittent leave and how to cover essential functions during your absence. Your supervisor must approve any intermittent leave that you request.

Step 2: Complete the Request for Parental Leave form with your supervisor

At least 60 days in advance of your planned leave, record the agreement you came to with your supervisor using the Request for Parental Leave form.

Both you and your supervisor must sign the form and keep a copy.

Step 3: Submit completed and signed form to your leave advisor

Each employee is assigned a leave advisor based on their location and the first letter of their last name. Locate your leave advisor from the leave advising team and send them the completed form via email.

Coordination With Other Benefits and Leaves

Flexible Work Arrangements

Any intermittent leave must be approved in advance by your supervisor and documented on the Request for Parental Leave form. Prior to denying any requests for intermittent leave, supervisors must contact an Senior HR Partner to discuss possible options.

Temporary Alternative Duty Assignment

Benefits-eligible employees may request a temporary assignment of alternative duties that will make it more feasible for them to remain on active employment following the birth or adoption of a child. The 16 weeks of TADA may be utilized during or after the parental leave period. Learn more about alternative duty.

Family and Medical Leave

Parental leave runs concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FML), and does not extend the FML leave period.

Employees who wish to extend their leave beyond the allotted 12 weeks of FML may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave time and apply earned vacation, sick, or compensatory time in accordance with University policies. 

Time Codes

When using paid parental leave

Type of Paid Parental Leave Exception (Salary) Positive (Hourly)
Parental Leave PLE PLP
FML Paid Parental Leave* FPLE FPLP

*Any portion of parental leave that runs concurrently with Family and Medical Leave should be coded using the "FML" extension to ensure that FML balances are accurately tracked.

When using sick, vacation, or compensatory time during unpaid parental leave

Type of Parental Leave Exception (Salary) Positive (Hourly)
Parental Leave-Vacation PVE PVP
Parental Leave-Sick PSE PSP
Parental Leave-Unpaid PUE PUP
Parental Leave-Comp n/a PCT

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

If you do not return to work for at least 30 calendar days following your approved leave, you agree to reimburse the University for the salary and benefits the University paid on your behalf during the paid parental leave period.

Payroll will first apply your available sick leave accruals toward the repayment. If a balance for repayment remains, available vacation and compensatory time leave accruals will also be applied. Payroll will notify you of any additional amount you owe following the application of your available paid time. For more information, please visit the Financial Services Paid Parental Leave Repayment page.

The repayment requirement may be waived in the event that a serious health condition (affecting the parent or child) precludes returning to work. The requirement is also waived if you are involuntarily terminated or your contract is not renewed.

No, you are only required to return for 30 calendar days at your new FTE or work schedule.

No, parental leave cannot be donated to other employees.

Yes. Disability insurance coverage does not affect paid parental leave. Short-term disability insurance and paid parental leave can be used at the same time.

Yes, departments are responsible for continuing the salary of an employee on paid parental leave.

Employees on parental leave still get to take holidays and winter closure.

If a holiday: That day is recorded as a paid holiday, either FML holiday (FMHE/FMHP) if the employee is taking simultaneous Family and Medical Leave, or regular holiday (HLE/HLP) if the employee is on parental leave only.

If winter closure: The three holidays during winter closure are always coded as regular holiday days (HLE/HLP). These holidays do not extend the parental leave period.

Yes. Employees who have a miscarriage qualify for up to 2 weeks of paid parental leave. The leave may be taken any time during the 12 months following the miscarriage.

This applies to the parent who has the miscarriage and/or to their spouse/partner. Miscarriage is defined as the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week.

To request parental leave following a miscarriage, complete the request for miscarriage/stillbirth recovery form (PDF).

If you or your spouse/partner experience a stillbirth, and you had not yet completed a parental leave request form (PDF), you may complete the request for miscarriage/stillbirth recovery form (PDF).

FMLA allows leave for a serious health condition, which is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that requires inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. If you are unable to work for a time after your pregnancy loss and will be receiving treatment from a healthcare or mental health provider, your absence may be eligible for leave under the FMLA. Contact an HR leave advisor about whether a new healthcare provider certification will be required.

Yes, if you are eligible for Family and Medical Leave, you must request FML to run concurrently with your parental leave. Both request forms can be completed 60 days prior to the expected start of your leave. 

Specific Employment Category Questions

Academic-year appointees are eligible to receive parental leave. The summer months do not count toward the parental leave allotment.

Postdoctoral scholars are expected to work at .50 FTE or greater for six months or longer are considered eligible for full benefits, and therefore are eligible for parental leave.

Graduate teaching assistants and research assistants/associates have their own parental leave policy though the Graduate College. Visit the Graduate Assistants/Associates Leave Policy page.

If you are a current University employee but were a graduate assistant/associate with the University during the past 12 months, that time may count toward your eligibility for parental leave. Please email HR Solutions for assistance.

In addition to parental leave, tenure-eligible or continuing-eligible faculty may request a promotion clock delay.

If you are a current University employee but were a DCC working at the University of Arizona Foundation or Banner Health during the past 12 months, email HR Solutions for assistance.

Adoption, Foster Care, and Guardianship Questions

Yes. The parental leave benefit is available in this circumstance.

You may commence parental leave at any point after you assume physical custody, provided that an adoption is in process.

Do you need more assistance? 

Connect with HR Solutions
Phone: 520-621-3660