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While there's a lot to plan and prepare for when welcoming a child into your family, we're here to help make this transition as smooth as possible.

Here you'll find an overview of leave time, benefits and resources at UK for new parents.

If you're experiencing a pregnancy-related disability or limitation at work, please request accommodation with our Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity. Employees who are pregnant are protected from discrimination at the federal and state level in addition to our university policy.



Parental leave at UK

Parental leave at UK is unpaid yet protected through the Famly and Medical Leave Act for most employees. Staff and faculty have different policies for the length of paid leave time.

Length of your leave

You can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time for approved Family and Medical Leave, so what's left is to determine the length of your leave and how much of it will be paid.


Immediately following the birth/adoption/guardianship or placement of a child, you may use up to 12 weeks of paid sick time (TDL) + vacation time. If you have less than 12 weeks of paid leave time, and you would like to extend the length of your leave, you can take unpaid leave for the remainder of your leave (up to 12 weeks total).

#88: Family and Medical Leave
#82: Temporary Disability Leave
#80: Vacation Leave

Estimate how much paid time you will have by checking your current balance of leave time in myUK, and calculating how much you will accrue before your leave.


In general, faculty are approved for 30 days or more of paid TDL for the birth/adoption/guardianship or placement of a child. TDL may be granted to faculty by the Provost. Please refer to the faculty documents below and your college’s specific guidance on paid and unpaid leave.

Faculty TDL and Family Medical Leave memo
G.R. 10 on Temporary Disability Leave for Faculty (page 12)

If you have questions, please contact the Office for Faculty Advancement.

Flexibility with leave

Leave might look different for you. The Family and Medical Leave Act makes it possible for the leave to be taken all at once, intermittently or your schedule can be adjusted for reduced hours.

Intermittent leave

Leave can be taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying event according to FMLA.

If you choose this option and your leave spans longer than six months, you must re-apply for Family and Medical Leave every six months.

Reduced hours

Instead of returning immediately to full-time work, you have the option to return to work part-time before going back to full-time status.

See more flexible work options

What if I don't qualify for Family and Medical Leave?

Please contact our Employee Relations team at (859) 257-8758 to discuss possible leave options.


As a supervisor, you play an important role in working with an employee before and after their leave for the birth or adoption of a child.

Be knowledgeable on our leave and flexible work policies, transparent in your communication, collaborate on transition plans and create a supportive environment.

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Hey little wildcat, welcome!

Cover of Little Cats Guide PDF

Little Cats Guide

Printable guide for UK parents preparing for leave, finding child care, support offered by UK and everything you need to know about Family Medical Leave.

And tips for supervisors to help employees transition from work and back to work.

UK benefits for families

While you are on approved Family and Medical Leave, UK will continue to pay for your basic life insurance, long term disability insurance, and for your own health insurance (not for the family plan portion though).

Accrual of sick time (TDL) and vacation time will only continue if you are in a paid status for at least one half of the pay period.

Please contact our Benefits team to ensure that your coverage continues — especially if there is a possibility that you'll be taking unpaid leave.

Make changes

Welcoming a new child is a qualifying event, so you'll want to make changes to your existing benefits within 30 days.

Choose your insurance

Review our health, dental and vision plans and enroll in a plan that covers your growing family.

Depending on the age of the child, you may not need dental or vision coverage, please consult with your physician. A change in enrollment will be effective as of the date of the qualifying event. So, your little one will be here before the paperwork is complete, but hospitals and doctor's offices are familiar with this and are usually accomodating.

UK insurance plans
Benefits Enrollment Form

Update your beneficiaries

Add your new child as a beneficiary on your life insurance and retirement savings.

Life insurance beneficiaries form

Flexible Spending Account

If you think your health care costs may increase, or if you are considering child care, a flexible spending account sets money aside tax-free to pay for certain items.

FSA for health care
FSA for dependent care


Our team can help in understanding your benefits during leave.


College or Department
Human Resources
Scovell Hall
Phone Number
(859) 257-9519 option 3
Email Address

Breastfeeding and lactation support

The University of Kentucky encourages and supports breastfeeding and lactation in the workplace. Work-Life is committed to assisting those who choose to breastfeed in finding an easily accessible, secure space. Please contact Work-life with any questions or more information.

Federal Guidelines for Lactation in the Workplace

UK Breastfeeding and Lactation Support Guidelines

COVID-19 Guidelines for UK Lactation Spaces

Basic needs

  • Privacy- A private office (with lock) or an on-site, designated room with an electrical outlet.
  • Flexible breaks and work options- Lactation requires 2-3 breaks during an 8-hour work day. On average, milk expression can take approximately 20 – 30 minutes but will vary, depending upon a number of factors such as physical health, emotional and physical stress, milk production, prior experience with lactation, and equipment.
  • Education- Information and resources to support the employee in balancing the requirements for breastfeeding with their job responsibilities.
  • Support- A positive, accepting attitude from upper management, supervisors and coworkers helps breastfeeding employees feel confident in their ability to continue working while breastfeeding.

Lactation spaces

We have 18+ dedicated lacatation rooms across campus.

You can also use an office or schedule a conference room.

Find a space


The cost of one breast pump per pregnancy is covered for UK health plan members.


Campus map

UK campus map with lacatation spaces.

Search for lactation spaces

  1. Click Find a Location at the top.
  2. Scroll down and click on Building Amenities.
  3. Click on Lactation Rooms and slide the button to Show Lactation Rooms.
  4. Click on the mother/baby icon on the map for the room number and additional information.