BOSTON – Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the past March, Friday 19, the expansion of the City of Boston’s Paid Parental Leave Policy for eligible employees. These changes build upon Boston’s first-ever Paid Parental Leave Policy, signed by Mayor Walsh in 2015. The policy will now allow for up to twelve weeks of Paid Parental Leave, doubling the previous maximum of six weeks, to employees who have worked for the City for at least one year. The new Paid Parental Leave Policy takes effect May 1, 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that working families are the backbone of our economy,” said Mayor Walsh. “Now more than ever, it’s important to support working families who have navigated many challenges over the past year, including managing childcare. Paid Parental Leave is a critical tool that ensures working families have the resources they need during a very busy time in their lives. I was proud to enact the City’s first Paid ftParental Leave policy, and I’m delighted to continue the City’s progress by expanding these benefits even further.”
“The City of Boston is committed to the health and well-being of our employees. By doubling the City’s Paid Parental Leave, we are improving a benefit that supports our employees and their families. Mayor Walsh has been committed to re-envisioning the City of Boston as a modern, employee-focused employer. This enhanced policy further demonstrates his commitment to improving the employee experience and will ensure that the City continues to attract and retain quality talent to public service,” said Emme Handy, Chief of Administration and Finance.
The City’s expanded Paid Parental Leave policy features:
Up to twelve (12) weeks of Paid Parental Leave to be taken during the first year after the birth or adoption of the child or children.
Applies to employees, both non-union and union, who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that explicitly provides for this benefit. Employees must have worked for the City for a minimum of one year to be eligible.
If both parents are employed by the City and meet the eligibility criteria, each employee is separately entitled to up to twelve (12) weeks of Paid Parental Leave.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced that working parents face daunting challenges that are not being met by today’s labor market,” said Dr. Jonathan Gruber, Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The U.S. has lagged behind the rest of the world in providing the type of paid leave that is essential to allowing for both healthy child development and healthy careers for parents. Boston was already a leader in providing paid leave, and this extension continues that leadership. The innovative plan will make it possible for new parents to take the time they need to recover, and it is fiscally responsible in providing the most generous benefits for the first month while still providing partial pay through twelve weeks. I applaud Boston for this bold and innovative step.”
Compensation under the expanded Paid Parental Leave will be structured as follows: 100-percent for the first 4 weeks; 75-percent for weeks 5 through 8; and 50-percent for weeks 9 through 12.
As a State Representative, Mayor Walsh was the lead sponsor of the legislation that went into effect on April 7, 2015, which updated the former Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act of 1972, renamed it the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act, and codified that it would be available for all couples for the first time. In 2015, Mayor Walsh implemented the City’s first-ever Paid Parental Leave Policy that provided up to six weeks of paid parental leave. The original policy provided the foundation for the current policy expansion.