Parental Leave: Guidance Concerning Charging Staff Parental Leave to Sponsored Projects

For Eligible Staff (Non-exempt, Exempt, Post Docs coded to 6150 and 6450)
(Note: This guidance does not pertain to HCSPH. Please see HCSPH Parental Leave Policies.)

Effective Date: September 25, 2017
Revision Date:
PDF Version: Guidance Concerning Charging Staff Parental Leave to Sponsored Projects

Short Term Disability for Birth Mothers (8 Weeks)

Under Harvard’s Short Term Disability (STD) Program, birth mothers receive 8 weeks of short term disability.  Like all STD payments, the funding for this benefit is part of Harvard’s fringe benefits and the salary portion is not charged directly to sponsored projects.  All eligible staff (non-exempt, exempt, and post docs) with seven or more years of service receive 100% of pay.  Eligible exempt staff and post docs with less than seven year of service receive 75% of pay.  Non-exempt staff with less than seven years of service receive 70% of pay. 

Parental Leave for Birth Mothers and Non-Birth Parents (4 weeks)

In addition to the 8 weeks of STD for birth mothers, all parents (including birth mothers, fathers and adoptive parents) receive 4 weeks of paid Parental Leave.   These weeks are not funded through Harvard’s fringe benefits.  Up to 4 weeks of Parental Leave is paid using the same fund or funds that normally pay the salary, including federal grants.

  • Eligible staff (non-exempt, exempt, and post docs) with seven or more years of service receive 100% of pay for up to four weeks. 
  • Eligible staff (non-exempt, exempt, and post docs) with less than seven years of service have two options.
    • Option 1: One week of parental leave at 100% of pay.
    • Option 2: Exempt staff and post docs with less than seven years of service receive 75% of pay for up to four weeks.  Non-exempt staff with less than seven years of service receive 70% of pay for up to four weeks.  A parent receiving less-than-full pay under this benefit may elect to use earned vacation time or personal days to reach up to 100% pay. Any supplement in excess of earned leave cannot be charged to sponsored funds.

Unpaid Leave or Earned Paid Time Off (remaining weeks up to 13 weeks)

Beyond Parental Leave, a parent may elect to use vacation pay or personal days or go without pay until his or her absence reaches 13 weeks. 

Eligible Post Docs

Eligible post docs include employees and stipendees who are working on Harvard research and who work at least 17.5 hours per week.  Eligible post docs are charged to object codes 6150 Post-doc employees or 6450 Stipendees, elig extended benefits.  Post docs charged to 6452 are not eligible for parental leave or Short Term Disability. Post Docs normally can take up to 4 weeks vacation per appointment year, but vacation time cannot be carried from one year to another.  Post doc vacation time is not part of the staff vacation pool and is not recorded through absence management in PeopleSoft.  Post docs are not entitled to Personal Days.  If an eligible post doc uses vacation, that time should be charged to the fund or funds that normally pays his or her salary, including federal grants.  Please note that some programs which fund post docs require notification if a recipient is going to suspend work for any kind of absence and some have parental leave policies that allow for fully-funded extended absences that align with the sponsor’s policies.   Please carefully follow the award documents, any program specific guidelines from the sponsor, and federal regulations (if applicable) when assisting post doc parents with planning and funding. 

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