When a child joins a family, either through birth or adoption, all members are part of the transition. There is ample research noting the benefits of paid leave for parents. It helps enrich bonds, reduces stress and lower rates of infant mortality. This same reduction in emotional, social and physical stress is experienced when employees have access to paid leave for caregiving responsibilities. Our parish communities benefit by having paid staff who know they are valued and who come to work less fatigued and distracted because they have been able to take appropriate time off to see to these familial responsibilities.
During the 2022 General Convention, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies concurred in encouraging dioceses to adopt uniform paid family leave policies. Church Pension Group is charged with exploring options for insurance products that would function similarly to disability plans by offering between 70-100% of the usual salary or wages while an employee is on paid family leave.
The Diocesan Human Resources Committee, chaired by the Rev. Dr. Maria Kane, is working on revisions to the Employee Handbook template and the creation of a new Clergy Handbook. Both will include recommendations for paid leave to support employees as they navigate the roles of new parent and caregiver. Be on the lookout for these this fall.