Maternity leave: 18 days

By Elaine Moy*

"[General church agencies] will provide leave for newborn or adoption childcare leave in the amount of 18 days." (Adopted Feb 2011, Personnel Policies and Procedures of the General Agancies or the United Methodist Chruch.)


Prior to Feb 2011

The paid time off included:

  • Mothers who gave birth were able to take medical leave (with a doctor's note) and vacation days. (Mothers who gave birth DID NOT have a paid maternity leave.)
  • Parents of children who are adapted were able to use Adoption Leave which was 22 days of paid leave plus vacation days.
  • Fathers were able to take Paternity Leave which was 22 days of paid leave plus vacation days.


Post Feb 2011

The paid time off includes:

  • Mothers who gave birth have 18 days paid time off, medical leave (with doctor's note) and vacation days.
  • Parents of children who are adapted have 18 days paid time off and vacation days.
  • Fathers have 18 days paid time off and vacation days.

I had both my children while working for GCSRW and I would have appreciated the 18 days paid time off to be with them. Instead, I had my medical leave, vacation days and then family leave (which was unpaid.) My husband also took time off from his work to stay with them after I came back to work.

The change is long overdue and much needed. In the past, some parents didn't take time to stay home with their new child (or children) but now it is more common and encouraged for both father and mother to stay home in the beginning. Details of the policy is in the Personnel Policies and Procedures of the General Agencies of the United Methodist Church.)

*Elaine Moy of Chicago is assistant general secretary for finance and administration for the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.