Parental Leave

Eligibility Requirements

The following employee categories are eligible for paid parental leave:

  • Tenure and tenure track faculty
  • Temporary instructors
  • Supportive professional staff
  • Civil service employees (does not include graduate students, undergraduate students or extra-help appointments)

There's no minimum service requirement to be eligible. You must have a full-time equivalency or contract percentage of 50% or greater.

Leave Usage

You must take the five weeks (25 working days) of paid leave on a continuous basis. The exception is if the five weeks extend beyond your contract period. In this case, you must use the remaining time at the start of your next contract period.

You must use the leave within 12 months of your child's date of birth or the date your child was placed with you.

If you qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), you're eligible to request leave for up to 12 weeks, as permitted under FMLA. This time allowed under your parental leave will run concurrently with the time provided under FMLA.

If you don't qualify for FMLA, any additional leave time requested beyond the five weeks of parental leave will be considered for your medical needs only. It will be handled as a request for additional medical leave for your own serious health condition. This time allowed under your parental leave will run concurrently with the time provided under your sick leave.

You're can't use nonaccumulative (as opposed to accumulative, or earned) sick leave for yourself or an immediate family member during your parental leave.

Parental Leave Request Form

Parental Leave Fact Sheet (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you have two separate children at two different points in a calendar year?

The 25 work days is provided per qualified need and therefore you would get 25 work days for each child.

What are the benefits if both parents are employees?

Each parent would be provided the 25 work days of parental leave benefits. This time must be used continuously.

What happens if I'm faculty and off contract when I deliver?

The five weeks (25 working days) of paid leave benefits must be taken on a continuous basis. The only exception to this is if the five continuous weeks extend beyond an employee's contract period. In this instance, the employee must utilize the remaining time at the start of the next contract period

How much notice do I need to give HR and/or my supervisor?

The application should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the expected start date of the leave of absence or as soon as practical.

Does the time have to be continuous?

The five weeks (25 working days) of paid leave benefits must be taken on a continuous basis. The only exception to this is if the five continuous weeks extend beyond an employee's contract period. In this instance, the employee must utilize the remaining time at the start of the next contract period

After the five paid weeks, do I have to use all of my vacation and sick time prior to using FMLA?

Employees who qualify for FMLA (one year of service and 1250 hours of work in the prior calendar year) will be eligible to request leave for up to twelve weeks as permitted under FMLA. This time allowed under Parental Leave of Absence will run concurrently with the time provided under FMLA. For employees that do not qualify for FMLA, any additional leave time requested beyond the five weeks of Parental Leave of Absence will be considered for the medical necessity of the employee only and will be handled as a request for additional medical leave for the employee's own serious health condition. This time allowed under Parental Leave of Absence will run concurrently with the time provided under NIU Illness Leave of Absence.

Employees utilizing the paid Parental Leave of Absence benefits will not be eligible for Non-Accumulative Sick Leave for the employee's own serious health condition or the serious health condition of an immediate family member as outlined in the NIU Board of Trustee Regulations during their Parental Leave of Absence.

Can I use my non-accumulative sick benefits toward my leave?

Employees utilizing the paid Parental Leave of Absence benefits will not be eligible for Non-Accumulative Sick Leave for the employee's own serious health condition or the serious health condition of an immediate family member as outlined in the NIU Board of Trustee Regulations during their Parental Leave of Absence.

What happens if there is a University holiday or administrative closure day during my Parental Leave of Absence?

Employees are eligible for five weeks (25 working days) of paid Parental leave of absence provided by the University. If there is a University holiday or administrative closure day during the leave of absence, the parental leave of absence will be extended by the number of days of the holiday or administrative closure.

What happens if my vacation accrual is maxed at 56 days during my Parental Leave of Absence?

Employees are eligible for five weeks (25 working days) of paid Parental leave of absence provided by the University. Employees who have maxed their vacation accrual during their paid Parental Leave of Absence will have their vacation accrual forfeited for the time while on Parental leave of absence.

Contact Us

Human Resource Services
Human Resources/Document Services Building
1515 West Lincoln Highway
P: 815-753-6000
F: 815-753-2335
humanresources@niu.edu

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