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UNC System board approves parental leave plan for employees

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors voted Friday, Sept. 20, to approve a new paid parental leave plan for UNC System employees during its regularly scheduled meeting.

The plan covers every eligible employee within the UNC System. The new policy will provide eight weeks of fully paid parental leave to employees who have given birth to a child, and four weeks of paid leave for non-birth parents in circumstances involving the birth of a child, as well as the adoption, foster placement or other legal placement of a child with an eligible state employee.

The UNC System will now seek formal approval from the Office of State Human Resources to implement the program for SHRA employees within the first few months of the new year in order to give system institutions time to make the necessary accommodations. Once formalized, the plan will cover every benefits-eligible employee within the UNC System.

“This new benefit is something the Board of Governors is excited to offer our employees and is something we have been working on for some time,” said Harry Smith, board chair. “We want to ensure that North Carolina remains competitive, not only among its fellow agencies, but also with other states, so that we can continue to attract and retain the best and brightest.”

The UNC System Office had been actively supporting a collaborative effort between the UNC System Staff Assembly and the N.C. State University Council on the Status of Women to develop specifics for this type of program. Earlier this year, the council completed a significant amount of work to benchmark and develop a proposal for a paid leave benefit.

“This plan was something we received a great deal of feedback and assistance on from various internal stakeholders, and we are glad to see this finally come to fruition,” said Matthew Brody, UNC System senior vice president for human resources. “It is our hope that this will help demonstrate the university’s commitment to working parents and represents a valuable addition to the university’s benefits program.”

More details regarding the implementation will be made available in the coming weeks.

Information provided by the UNC System Office.

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