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Kemp signs bill to increase state employees, teachers paid parental leave

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(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation doubling annual paid parental leave for state employees and school personnel, including teachers.

Previously, state employees could take three weeks or 120 hours of paid parental leave during a 12-month “rolling” period following a child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. However, House Bill 1010 increases the paid leave to six weeks — or 240 hours.

“This significant legislation demonstrates our commitment to supporting working families across Georgia and promoting work-life balance to ensure that parents have the support they need during important family milestones,” House Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, said in an announcement. “Paid parental leave, available for the birth of a child or the foster and adoption placement of a child, is a crucial benefit that empowers employees to prioritize their family responsibilities without compromising their financial security.”

In a February email, Jones told The Center Square that the state House’s budget director said there was no significant revenue loss as new parents were already using vacation or leave to take six weeks or more off.

Officials said employees can use the increased time off for the birth of a child, the placement of a child in foster care, or adoption. The measure also mandates that employers inform eligible employees of the updated benefits upon hiring and annually after that.