On October 1, 2018, a new parental leave policy for Maryland state employees that will provide up to an additional 60 days of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child under six years old takes effect. The 60 days may be used any time within the first six months following the birth or adoption and does not have to be used concurrently in order to provide more flexibility for working parents.
The new 60 days of paid parental leave is part of Senate Bill 859, which Governor Hogan supported and signed this year. The administration is going beyond the requirements of the legislation by making the 60 days of leave available for use anytime within the first six months after birth or adoption of a child, whereas traditionally parents have had to use leave time in a bloc. This additional paid leave will be granted once the employee has exhausted his or her annual and personal leave.
“We are maximizing flexibility for working parents by making these 60 days of parental leave available anytime within six months following the birth or adoption of a child,” said Governor Hogan. “Because being a new parent isn’t just about being home for the first six weeks following your son or daughter’s birth. It’s also the doctor’s appointments, check-ups, and other important needs in your child’s early stages of life.”
The governor also announced that he will be submitting the Small Business Relief Tax Credit Act of 2019 on the first day of the next legislative session in January, which will expand on last year’s legislation that provides tax credits as an incentive for small businesses to offer paid sick leave to also include tax credits to small businesses that offer paid parental leave for their employees.
The governor proposed the Small Business Relief Tax Credit of 2018 to provide tax credits for small businesses providing paid sick leave for their employees, and it passed unanimously in the last legislative session. The new proposed legislation will expand eligibility for the tax credit to small businesses that provide paid parental leave and double the available tax credit for businesses that provide both paid sick leave and parental leave.
“Our administration is leading by example, and it is our hope that other employers and small businesses throughout the state will follow our lead,” said Governor Hogan.