Upcoming Expansion of MIT Family Leave Policy

May 24, 2021
Ramona Allen, Vice President for Human Resources |

Dear Colleagues,

MIT is expanding its paid family leave policies effective July 1, 2021. As of July 1, most employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave to care for a family member who has a serious health condition. This new leave benefit will be consistent with – and in some measures, exceed – the requirements of the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA).

Once this change goes into effect, MIT will offer three kinds of family leave:

  • Leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition (effective July 1, 2021);
  • Parental/bonding leave, for a new child (available now); and
  • Leave related to a family member in the armed services (available now).

These family leaves are generally limited to 12 weeks (total) in a 52-week period (a longer period may apply to care for an ill or injured servicemember). Eligible employees may continue to use up to five days per year of their accrued sick time, if available, to care for family members who have serious health conditions. Any additional leave needed for this reason would be paid at the state formula rate, which is calculated based on the employee’s earnings and is currently capped at $850/week gross pay.

More information about leaves, and how to request a leave, is available on the HR website.

Definition of family

For the purposes of leaves to care for a family member with a serious health condition, a family member is defined as:

  • The employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, or parent of the employee’s spouse or domestic partner;
  • A person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor child; or
  • The employee’s grandchild, grandparent, or sibling.

Reminder about other recent changes affecting sick and family leaves

MIT made other changes to its sick and family leave policies and processes, effective on January 1, 2021, including:

  • A new bonding leave benefit, which some employees may use following MIT’s pre-existing Paid Parental Leave (PPL) benefit;
  • Modified leave policies for an employee’s own illness or injury;
  • A modified sick time accrual system for both salaried benefits-eligible (non-faculty) staff and support staff; and
  • A new leaves administration vendor, Workpartners (campus only).

More detail, such as information on notification requirements, is available on the HR website and in the Employment Policy Manual (Section 4.3: Leaves for Employee Injury or Illness / Section 4.4: Family Leaves).

If you have questions about a current or upcoming leave, please contact:


Ramona Allen
Vice President for Human Resources