New Paid Parental Leave and KinderCare Discount Effective January 1, 2019
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Loyola University Chicago values human life at all stages. In addition to existing programs, to better support the early stages of life for faculty and staff with growing families, Loyola is introducing two new family-friendly benefits in 2019.
New in January 2019:
Paid Parental Leave
A new paid parental leave policy took effect beginning January 1, 2019. Benefit-eligible full-time faculty and full- and part-time staff are now eligible to take up to three weeks of paid parental leave due to the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child who is born, adopted, or placed on or after January 1, 2019.
This benefit is available to eligible faculty and staff with at least one year of service, and it must be taken as one consecutive period within the first six months of the birth or placement. The new policy covers 100 percent of salary for up to three weeks of leave for the mother or father. If the parent is a birth mother staff employee, short-term disability would apply before paid parental leave would go into effect.
In lieu of paid parental leave, the existing maternity leave guidelines will remain in place for eligible faculty: one semester of paid leave may be taken during the pregnancy or immediately thereafter the birth. Eligible faculty birth mothers are not eligible to take paid parental leave in addition to paid maternity leave.
Paid leave allows parents the opportunity to spend more time bonding with the new addition to their family. Note: If both parents are Loyola employees, both parents may take this paid leave. View the complete Paid Parental Leave Policy for more details.
Effective January 1, 2019, a new child day care benefit is now offered through KinderCare to enhance child care benefits for faculty and staff. KinderCare is a nationwide child care provider with many convenient neighborhood centers. Faculty and staff members from all Chicagoland campuses are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on the cost of tuition for child day care services at participating KinderCare Learning Centers or Champions Before- and After-School Programs in their area.
Visit www.kindercare.com/luc to find a center near you and to learn how to take advantage of this new child care benefit program. You may enroll your child(ren) age six weeks to 12 years old at any time during the year. For more information, you can also call a customer care specialist at 888.525.2780. You can also access a variety of parenting resources, including articles and videos, at www.kindercare.com/content-hub.
Ongoing Programs and Benefits:
Loyola University Chicago Preschool
Loyola University Chicago Preschool, located in a safe and secure environment on the Lake Shore Campus, offers an exceptional child care experience, where dedicated and educated staff provide nurturing, engaging and comprehensive programming for young children. The preschool’s play-based curriculum places a strong emphasis on developing social/emotional capabilities, while also addressing fine/gross motor, language, and cognitive skills.
Full-day, year round preschool is offered with a Monday-Friday, Tuesday/Thursday, or Monday/Wednesday/Friday scheduling option, for children ages two through four years old. For more information and an email link to the preschool, visit www.luc.edu/preschool.
Paid Time Off
Loyola employees may use up to half of their annual sick leave accruals for the care of family members due to illness, injury, or medical appointment. View the Sick Leave Policy for more information. In addition, personal, family-friendly days are available (four per year for all full-time staff and two per year for all part-time staff) to attend to personal business, emergency situations, or family needs.
Loyola provides short-term disability leave to benefit-eligible employees with six months of service. This leave, administered by Matrix Absence Management, allows for you to maintain partial or full pay if you are unable to work due to a serious health condition, injury, or pregnancy.
“Special Beginnings” Maternity Program
If you are enrolled in a Loyola medical plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Special Beginnings maternity program supports mothers from early pregnancy until six weeks after delivery. The program is free, easy, and confidential. Once you enroll, an experienced Blue Cross Blue Shield staff member will contact you and:
- Ask you questions to determine what support you will need
- Send you information, including a book about having a healthy pregnancy and baby
- Answer any questions you have and help you plan your care with your doctor
- Assist you with managing high-risk conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia
You can enroll in or ask questions about the program by calling 888.421.7781 from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday. Learn how you can protect the health of you and your baby at www.bcbsil.com/specialbeginnings.
Benefits Value Advisor
If you are enrolled in a Loyola medical plan, the Benefits Value Advisor program through Blue Cross Blue Shield can help expectant mothers compare costs at different hospitals or birthing facilities to save money on maternity delivery, and also can help schedule your delivery or receive pre-certification. By scheduling a procedure such as an ultrasound exam through the Benefits Value Advisor, you may qualify for a cash reward through the Member Rewards program for choosing the most cost-effective option. Before your next procedure, call the number on the back of your Blue Cross Blue Shield member ID card for more information. Note: This benefit is available to all Loyola medical plan participants for a variety of health care services including, but not limited to, maternity procedures.
Loyola’s adoption assistance benefit is provided to employees at no cost. This program reimburses employees at 90 percent for covered adoption expenses, up to a maximum of $5,000 (or $6,000 if the child has special needs). Expenses will only be paid for the adoption of children who are under the age of 18 or are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves. Visit the Adoption Assistance page for more information, or contact benefits@LUC.edu to learn more about the reimbursement claim process.
Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Loyola offers a Dependent Day Care FSA through BenefitExpress to help employees pay for the care of qualifying children or adults while they are at work. Eligible expenses include in-home care, care at another’s home, nursery or preschool tuition, after-school care, dependent care centers, summer day camp (if costs are reasonably comparable to other alternatives), and adult day care. The current IRS contribution limit is $5,000 per household ($2,500 maximum per spouse). Full-time employees are eligible for this benefit and can choose to participate during Open Enrollment or within 31 days if a new hire or experiencing a qualifying life event such as birth or marriage.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
The EAP offered through Perspectives, Ltd., is a free resource available to all employees and their families. The site features a variety of solutions to issues and difficulties of daily life, including help finding child care, elder care, schools, camps, back-up care, adoption services, parenting services, and pet care in your area. Visit www.perspectivesltd.com and log in with the user name “LOY500” and the password “perspectives.” Then click on “Locators” to find services in your area. You can also call 800.456.6327 if you need assistance.
Additional details on all of Loyola’s 2019 benefits can be found online in the 2019 Benefits Booklet and at www.LUC.edu/hr. The Human Resources benefits staff is also available to answer questions by e-mail at benefits@LUC.edu or by phone at 312.915.6175.
Winifred L. Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer