New Parental Leave Framework

10 January 2023

In 2019 the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) established a working group to examine the parental leave entitlements of the United Nations common system in a holistic and comprehensive manner, and to develop a proposal for consideration by the ICSC.

The former President of your Staff Union, on behalf of CCISUA, actively participated in that working group and significantly contributed to the outcome of its deliberations.

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The ICSC eventually decided to replace the maternity, paternity and adoption leave with parental leave of sixteen weeks for all parents, regardless of gender or category of staff and to provide an additional ten weeks to birth mothers to meet the specific pre- and post-natal needs.

The revised parental leave framework has been approved by the General Assembly and the new policy is expected to come into effect in January 2023. It will also retroactively apply to all children born in 2022. All leave will have to be taken within twelve months of the child's birth.

Staff members entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave, four or eight weeks of paternity leave or eight weeks of adoption leave as of 31 December 2022 may be granted days of parental leave in addition to their already exercised maternity, paternity or adoption leave entitlement in respect of a child who is less than one year old on 1 January 2023.The total duration of the combined leave (i.e. maternity, paternity and adoption leave plus parental leave) shall not exceed 26 or 16 weeks, as applicable. Staff members may avail of their days of parental leave at any time within a year from the date of their child’s birth or adoption. Any portion of parental leave that is not utilized within that one-year period shall be forfeited.