Parental leave benefit increasingly used by fathers
Becoming a parent is a life-changing event, one that comes with much preparation. After the baby arrives, it’s important for moms and dads to be able to spend time bonding with the newborn and adjusting to the new normal.
Ten years ago, Creighton implemented the parental leave benefit to include not just maternity leave for mothers, but paternity leave for fathers, too. The benefit was recommended by the Committee on the Status of Women.
Parental leave provides faculty and staff with four weeks of paid leave for a new birth or adoption.
Lenora Salts, senior benefits analyst in Human Resources, says there has been an up tic in the use the parental leave benefit by dads over the years, especially recently.
“It’s always been utilized, but I’ve seen an increase. There’s been more utilization by dads for parental leave this year. It is always a blessing to see a new life enter the world, and I think it is also a blessing Creighton can offer such a benefit.”
The benefit also provides flexibility in managing life’s obligations. Employees can use paid parental leave at any time throughout the first year following the birth or adoption of a child.
Jeremy Graney has used the parental benefit twice. He said although he and his wife, Cara, are thoughtful planners, he had never thought about getting time off.
“It’s been really helpful to me as a father,” he said. “It was great that the time was not only available but encouraged by my department.”
Graney, assistant director for the Magis Catholic Teacher Corps in the Department of Education, and his wife are the parents of two, Ben, born June 2019, and Ruth, born March 2021.
Graney split the four weeks paid leave; he took some time off immediately after Ben’s birth and saved his remaining days for when Cara went back to work as a speech-language pathologist in Bellevue Public Schools.
“As first-time parents, you’re feeling all nervous when they send you away from the hospital. I took two weeks off originally to help us figure out how to go from a married couple to a family. It was nice for us to have this time together.”
Graney also spread the allowed paid leave out over the year after Ruth was born.
“It’s been a huge plus for our family, and to be able to stretch that out before my wife went back to work. You can use it to fit whatever your family needs.”
“A lot of people don’t think about fathers taking time off,” Salts said. “All they have to do is fill out an application.”
To be eligible for parental leave, faculty and staff must be benefits eligible and have been employed by the University at least 12 months prior to the birth or adoption of a child.
Supervisors, deans and department chairs are required to work with faculty and staff to redistribute duties, including teaching responsibilities, during the entitlement period.