FAQ: Paid Parental Leave (PPL)

  • Q: What is Paid Parental Leave?

    A: 

    Paid Parental Leave (PPL) is a new paid leave category that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of PPL in connection with the birth of an employee’s son or daughter or the placement of a son or daughter with an employee for adoption or foster care.

  • Q: How do I determine if I am eligible for PPL?

    A: 

    To be eligible for PPL under the authority in title 5, United States Code, a Federal employee must be eligible for FMLA under that title. Please click for more FMLA eligibility information. An employee must meet FMLA eligibility requirements, including the following:

    • Has completed at least 12 months of Federal service of a type that is covered under the title 5 FMLA provisions;
    • Has a part-time or full-time work schedule (i.e., employees with an intermittent work schedule are ineligible); and
    • Has an appointment of more than 1 year in duration to include temporary appointments longer than 13 months (i.e., employees with temporary appointments not to exceed 1 year are ineligible).
  • Q: I am a Title 42 Employee, am I eligible for PPL?

    A: 

    Title 42 employees hired via the Special Consultants (42 U.S.C. 209(f)); Service Fellows (42 U.S.C. 209(g)); or the Senior Biomedical Research and Biomedical Product Assessment Service (SBRBPAS) (42 U.S.C. 237(b)) authorities, including hires made via other Title 42 authorities under the 21st Century Cures Act, are eligible for PPL.

  • Q: I am a Title 38 Employee, am I eligible for PPL?

    A: 

    Title 38 employees are Title 5 employees with a special pay authority. As such, Title 38 employees generally follow the leave provisions of Title 5 employees. Because of this, Title 38 employees are eligible for PPL.

  • Q: Do I have to invoke FMLA in order to use PPL?

    A: 

    Yes, PPL is a substitution of paid leave for FMLA unpaid leave granted in connection with the birth of an employee’s son or daughter or the placement of a son or daughter with an employee for adoption or foster care.

  • Q: Am I required to use all of my own annual and sick leave before using PPL?

    A: 

    There is no requirement to exhaust other paid leave types (e.g., annual, sick, etc.) before using PPL.

  • Q: What is the time period in which PPL can be used?

    A: 

    PPL can only be used during the 12-month period following the birth or placement of an employee’s son or daughter. At the end of that 12-month period, any unused balance of PPL permanently expires and is not available for future use.

  • Q: If I use PPL, is FMLA still available to use for other qualifying FMLA events?

    A: 

    FMLA may be used for a separate medical emergency. However, the amount of FMLA time available will be reduced by the amount of PPL time taken for birth or placement purposes.

  • Q: For any unused balance of PPL, am I able to receive it as a lump sum payout?

    A: 

    No, an employee may not be paid for unused or expired PPL. Once the eligibility period for use has passed following the birth or placement of a child, any unused PPL is forfeited and not available for future use.

  • Q: I am due on September 30, 2020, with my due date being so close to the effective date of PPL, can I be grandfathered in to receive this benefit?

    A: 

    No, you must have a qualifying birth or placement event – that is, the birth or placement (for adoption or foster care) of the employee’s child must occur on or after October 1, 2020. Any birth or placement that takes place prior to October 1, 2020 will not be eligible for PPL.

  • Q: If both parents work at NIH are they both eligible for PPL?

    A: 

    Yes, if two covered Federal employees are parents of the same newly born or placed child, each employee would have a separate FMLA leave entitlement to PPL based on the birth/placement event.

  • Q: Can one parent use PPL immediately following the birth or placement of a child and the other parent use PPL upon the completion of the first parent’s entitlement?

    A: 

    Yes, PPL can be used any time during the 12-month period following the birth or placement of an employee’s
    son or daughter.

  • Q: I am having twins (multiples), am I eligible to receive PPL for each child?

    A: 

    No, if an employee has multiple children born or placed on the same day, the multiple childbirth/placement event is considered to be a single event that initiates a single entitlement of up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave.

  • Q: Am I required to provide any documentation to use PPL?

    A: 

    Yes, at the request of the agency, employees are required to provide documentation to show that their use of PPL is directly connected to a birth or placement that has occurred. Please review this non-exhaustive list of the types of documentation that can be requested from OPM.

  • Q: Are there any service agreements that are required for me to use PPL?

    A: 

    Yes, prior to using PPL, an employee is required to enter into a written service agreement to work for the employing agency (i.e., the agency employing the employee at the time PPL concludes) for 12 weeks after the day on which PPL concludes. Additional guidance will be forthcoming.

  • Q: If I do not complete my 12-week service obligation, what am I responsible for?

    A: 

    Failure to complete the 12-week work obligation may require you to reimburse the agency (or agencies) that employed you during the use of PPL.  The reimbursement is equal to the total amount of any Government contribution the agency paid to maintain your health insurance coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program during the period that PPL was used.

  • Q: Can PPL be used intermittently?

    A: 

    As long as both the supervisor and employee agree on the terms, PPL can be used intermittently. However, please note, any periods of work between intermittent use of PPL do not count toward the completion of the 12-week service obligation. Your 12-week service obligation begins the day after your last day using

  • Q: Can I use my own annual and/or sick leave while using PPL intermittently?

    A: 

    PPL can only be used in relation to the birth or placement of a child. However, an employee can request to use sick leave for sick leave purposes while using PPL intermittently. If the employee has documentation to support the request, sick leave generally cannot be denied. An employee can request to use annual leave while using PPL intermittently, however, the approval of the annual leave is at the discretion of the supervisor.

  • Q: If after the birth or placement of my son or daughter, my tour of duty changes from full-time to part-time, how does this impact my PPL eligibility.

    A: 

    Moving from a full-time schedule to a part-time schedule will change the number of PPL hours you are eligible to receive. For a part-time employee, the hours equivalent of 12 administrative workweeks is derived by multiplying 6 times the number of hours in your scheduled tour of duty over a biweekly pay period. For example, if you are part-time with a scheduled tour of duty that consists of 40 hours in a biweekly pay period, the amount of PPL hours you would be eligible to receive would be up to 240 hours. This is unlike the full-time employee with a scheduled tour of duty consisting of 80 hours in a biweekly pay period receiving up to 480 hours of PPL.

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