Parental Leave Program
“Over the past month I have had the opportunity to be a full-time parent to my newborn son and my daughter. I have loved every minute of it. I have been able to help my wife recover...Thanks for supporting paternity leave.”
The Parental Leave Program for Professional Staff began in 2018, and replaces the Maternity Disability Program and Adoption Program. Appointed members of the MGH/MGPO Professional Staff (including faculty and research fellows) are eligible for 8 weeks of centrally funded paid leave when they become new parents. Please note that MGPO policies do not pertain to GME residents and fellows, who instead follow the GME trainee policies. Revisions to the GME Leave policy are in development.
To use this benefit, speak with your unit chief of service, department administrator, and MGPO benefits consultant.
For questions, please contact Dee Dee Chen, Director of Professional Staff Compensation and Benefits, MGH, firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 643-7243
Frequently Asked Questions
I am a part-time member of the Professional Staff, does this apply to me?
I am a Fellow, am I eligible?
If you are an MGH Clinical and/or Research Fellow, and are “eligible for benefits” (this currently means your annual salary is at least $10,000, and your scheduled hours to work are recorded as at least 1000 hours per year) you are eligible. However, if you in a GME program, GME rules will apply and supersede this program.
Doesn’t the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) permit an absence of up to 12 weeks?
Yes; but the FMLA does not require any continuance of salary while the employee is absent from work. Consistent with the FMLA a Professional Staff member may remain absent for up to 12 weeks. However, only 8 weeks is centrally funded under the Parental Leave Program.
If I have accrued vacation on the department books can I use it to pay the remaining 4 weeks I am allowed to be away?
Rules among departments may differ. Contact your administrative director or chief of service to discuss this matter.
If I have another child will I again qualify for salary continuance under the Parental Leave Program?
I am thinking about adoption. Am I eligible for this program?
Who should I see if I am anticipating an absence due to becoming a new parent?
Your Chief of Service should be apprised of your intent, as should your department’s administrative director. The administrative director will assist with your application for leave under FMLA, will record your parental absence with the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office, assure salary continuance is paid to you, and will coordinate recovery of funds to your department. If you require additional information you are invited to contact the MGH Professional Staff Benefits Office for assistance.
What will be the status of my health care while I am away from work?
You will remain insured while on your parental leave.
Will I still receive pension benefit contributions?
If you are eligible for the pension plan and/or are participating in the Tax Sheltered Annuity Plan (TSA) contributions will continue as long as you are paid your salary. In the event you enter an unpaid status, and are no longer considered disabled, pension plan contributions cease. Except for voluntary participation in the TSA, Clinical and/or Research Fellows are not eligible to participate in an employer funded pension plan.
If I am unable to return to work after I have concluded my 12 week absence from work under the FMLA what will happen?
The question assumes that you are unable to return to work due to a disability. If you are a participant in the MGH Professional Staff Long Term Disability Plan or the MGH Hospital Long Term Disability Plan you may make a claim to insured benefits after you have been away for a period of 90 days. Generally, you will receive 60% of regular insured earnings and you will be permitted to continue in the MGH benefits plans.