Mayor Pete Buttigieg has requested that the 2018 budget include provisions for the City of South Bend to offer employees paid parental leave starting with the new fiscal year. The policy would provide eligible City employees with six weeks of 100 percent paid parental leave that may be taken continuously or in weekly increments over a six-month period following the birth or adoption of an employee’s child. It is intended to give new parents additional flexibility and time to bond with their new child, adjust to their new family situation, and balance their professional obligations.

“The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not mandate leave for new parents. Rather than wait for national policy to improve, we can lead by example. We believe the whole community will be better off when City employees can benefit from these family-friendly policies,” said Buttigieg. “We hope other employers in the area consider offering similar plans to their employees.”

The policy would make South Bend one of the first municipalities in the region to offer paid parental leave. City Human Resources Director Kyra Clark presented the plan to South Bend Common Council members as part of a budget presentation on Wednesday night, and the policy will be subject to approval of the administration’s 2018 budget.