Staff Council researching paid parental leave policies

Desired benefit could aid recruitment and retention, governing group says

A University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC) committee is developing a working research outline in an effort to propose an equitable and consistent paid parental leave policy for staff members.

Council members were given a progress update on the committee’s efforts during their Dec. 15 monthly meeting. Committee members will reach out to a variety of employers in order to examine the benefits those institutions offer, what resources are needed to fill in for employees who are granted leave, and policy details.

The group plans to focus only on parental leave, not elder care or other types of leave, in the upcoming months.

In addition, the group will look at ways to better educate employees about how to use any potential leave benefit. Constituents have said that many employees either don’t know how to use, or find it cumbersome to use, university benefits. The UCSC committee will look at ways to improve communication to and education for employees.

One suggestion, for example, would be to have a call center dedicated to answering employee questions concerning benefit policies and use. In addition, all human resource groups and others working with the policy would need training to ensure consistency and accurate administration.

Paid parental leave would not only benefit employees but also develop a more family-friendly culture across the university community and be used as a recruiting tool, said UCSC member Ashley Eschler.

“Our goal is to make sure that whatever we propose, the benefit will be all-inclusive, especially for classified staff,” said Denise Thomas, UCSC chair. “Right now, benefits are different for different people, depending on their work status.”

Thomas added that the recent work survey conducted by UCSC addressed parental leave. Data from the survey likely will provide ideas about employee work-life balance and how the university can help manage that balance better through benefits.

Council members continue to gather data from the survey with the goal of having a preliminary report drafted sometime in February.

Council members also heard a report from the UCSC policy committee, which is charged with monitoring university and Board of Regent policy revisions.

One policy revision of interest is APS 5012, which involves conflicts of interest. Anja Wynne, a member of the policy committee, said the revision – as it now stands – does not address staff, only faculty and researchers. Another university conflict of interest policy focuses on officers, but Wynne said very few officers are categorized as university staff.

The Staff Council will distribute APS 5012 to campus councils for review and comment. To view the policy, visit

Tagged with: