Frequently Asked Questions on Guidance on Charging Approved Family and Medical Leaves to Sponsored Awards

1. Are grant managers involved in determinations of eligibility for Paid Family and Medical Leaves (PFML)?

No. A third-party administrator hired by Harvard Human Resources makes determinations of eligibility based on direct requests and discussions with the individual. Grant managers are not involved, departments will receive information from the applicable benefits office.

2. How can a grant manager or PI know if an employee is receiving pay through the Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave benefit?

Salary continuation from the PFML will appear in the General Ledger and can be viewed on HART Transaction Listings. The payroll transactions will have an Earnings Code of “MAP” and a Line Description of “MA Paid Family Medical Leave” or “MAM” for “MA PFML Own Leave”.

3. Does the attestation language in ecrt recognize that salary continuation will be charged to the award even though it does not represent effort on the award?

Yes. PFML is an allowable expense on federal awards and the certification language for both quarterly and annual statements acknowledges that this non-effort pay required by university policy is certified.

Quarterly statements say, “I certify that non-faculty salaries charged this quarter are consistent with university policy or reasonably reflect work performed on this project and that I have sufficient technical knowledge or that I am in a position that provides me with suitable means of verification that the work was performed.”

Annual statements say, “I certify that salary directly charged and the cost share recorded reasonably reflect the effort expended on the activities listed for the designated period or are consistent with university policy. I have sufficient technical knowledge and/or that I am in a position that provides me with suitable means of verification that the work was performed.”

4. Will all salary continuation during the approved leave be funded the same way as the PFML portion of the leave?

No. Portions of the leave that are part of Harvard fringe benefit pools and/or disability will not be charged to local accounts.

5. Can you pay for some of it on the grant, but not all of it?

Yes. A PI may determine that the award can pay for some of the leave using the considerations noted in the guidance.

6. If the grant does not pay for the leave, what funding sources are available?

Each tub or local unit will determine non-sponsored funding for these costs. Contact your local finance office for guidance.

7. Does the allocation of the leave salary on sponsored awards have to follow the allocation at the time the individual took leave?

Yes. Salary allocated to sponsored awards must follow the distribution of salary at the time of leave and throughout the leave unless salary is moved to a non-sponsored funding source. Leave salary cannot be reduced on one sponsored award and increased on another sponsored award, but it can be removed from one sponsored award and moved to a non-sponsored funding source.

8. What is an example of an award where the aims of the scope of work are jeopardized?

A postdoc is going on maternity leave in the final months of a 3-year project. The faculty member needs to re-allocate the funds to graduate students so that the work can be completed in the required time frame and available funding. In the judgment of the faculty member, the award cannot support the leave and it will need to be funded out of non-sponsored funds.

9. What is an example of an award where the aims of the scope of work are not jeopardized?

A postdoc is going on PFML due to knee surgery for 12 weeks. His project began 6 months ago, and it is funded for three years. The postdoc and faculty member agree that they will be able to complete the work in the time and funding remaining despite the leave, and the postdoc's leave can be paid for by the grant.