A Leave Manager’s Guide to Delaware Paid Leave

January 10, 2024

In 2022, Delaware Paid Leave (Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program) was passed into law. Since then, many employees have been awaiting the program’s kick off. Contributions begin January 1, 2025 with benefits payable January 1, 2026.

The aim of this program is to provide workers in Delaware access to up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for loved ones, bond with a new child, and to manage a serious health condition, and more.

To help employers with team members residing in Delaware, we’ve created this quick reference guide. Read on for what you need to know, and how to stay compliant.

Who is eligible for Delaware Paid Leave?  

Delaware Paid Leave offers paid leave to employees who have been employed for at least one year and at least 1,250 hours at a Delaware work site.

What new protections does Delaware Paid Leave grant employees?

Starting January 1, 2026, eligible Delaware workers will have access to paid medical leave (PML) if they are unable to work due to injury or illness, including pregnancy and childbirth, paid parental leave (PPL) to bond with a new child or for paid family leave (PFL) to address a military exigence and to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

What wage replacement does Delaware Paid Leave offer?

Employees will get up to 80% of their wages, up to $900 per week.

Do employers have to pay for Delaware Paid Leave, and if so, how does that work?

The program will be funded by less than 1% of an employee’s weekly salary. Employers can require employees to contribute up to half the cost. Contributions will begin on January 1, 2025.

Does Delaware Paid Leave interact with other types of leave?

All leave that qualifies under Delaware Paid Leave will run concurrently with eligible leave under an employer’s policy and the FMLA (where applicable). Delaware Paid Leave may not be taken in addition to leave under the FMLA. Employers may also require that employees exhaust paid time off, vacation, or sick leave during such a leave.

Does Delaware Paid Leave offer job protection?

Yes, Delaware Paid Leave offers benefits similar to FMLA.

What leave options does Delaware Paid Leave provide employees?

Delaware Paid Leave provides paid leave for an eligible employee to:

  • Care for a new child (up to 12 weeks per year)
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition (up to 6 weeks every 24 months),
  • Address a personal serious health condition or injury (up to 6 weeks every 24 months), or
  • Assist while loved ones are on overseas military deployment (up to 6 weeks every 24 months)

What documents can employers ask employees to provide?

The Department is working to develop approved forms and notification requirements, check back soon!

When does an employee need to give notice of their Delaware Paid Leave?

Employees must provide 30 days (about 4 and a half weeks) advance notice of the need for leave if known, or as soon as practicable. Employers will have five business days to approve or deny an employee’s claim for benefits, providing reasons for any denial, and another three business days to notify the Delaware Department of Labor (DDOL) about an approved claim.

How can your HR team ensure they are compliant with Delaware Paid Leave?

Employers should work with their internal and external counsel or benefits administrator to determine how benefits will be administered and how tax contributions will be remitted. Applications for private plans begin September 1, 2024 through the Department. Stay connected with us for more details once final regulations are approved.