On Tuesday the Leon County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to provide paid parental leave to County employees. Both men and women County employees will be eligible to receive six weeks of paid leave to care for and bond with a newborn or newly-adopted child as an employee benefit.
The staff analysis noted actual cost projections for the benefit are difficult to forecast. For the initial year, staff anticipates that paid parental leave can be paid for from existing personnel budgets. Staff will track the fiscal impact over the first year and if costs exceed personnel budgets, staff will provide a funding recommendation as part of next year’s budget development cycle.
“Today’s action by the Board of County Commissioners further reinforces that our County is a great place to work and live,” said Leon County Commission Chairman John E. Dailey. “I know first hand how important the first few weeks of being a parent can be, and this policy shows the County’s support during this time.”
The County’s new policy allows employees to retain their accumulated sick and annual leave for use when they return from parental leave. Previously, new parents could return with little to no accumulated leave, which could lead to hardships when they needed time off in the future.
“The County’s new paid parental leave policy demonstrates our commitment to being an employer of choice,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “I applaud the Board for approving this policy.”
By adopting this policy, Leon County becomes a leader among a growing number of local governments in Florida to offer paid parental leave.
“This is a great policy for Leon County and it is also a national best practice,” said Leon County Commissioner and National Association of Counties President Bryan Desloge. “From my travels across the nation, I can truly say the work we are doing here in Leon County makes us a leader in the public sector.”