PENDELDOT strongly encourages practicum sites to have a policy in place to support trainees who give birth, are supporting a partner who has given birth, or adopt a child during their practicum training year. Our recommended policy is as follows.
- Trainees who become the primary caregiver of a new child in their family (via birth or adoption), should be offered three months of parental leave, during which they will have no responsibilities for administrative work or patient care and their practicum training slot will be held for them.
- Trainees who are supporting a partner who has given birth, or adopted a child should be offered two weeks of parental leave, during which they will have no responsibilities for administrative work or patient care and their practicum training slot will be held for them.
In most cases, the training period will simply be reduced by the amount of time taken as leave. Sites may offer various options for extending training, including allowing extra days to accrue hours or extending the practicum beyond the usual end date. These should not be requirements, however, because many trainees will not have the flexibility to add extra clinic days or extend the training period given other commitments and obligations. Similarly, many sites may not be able to accommodate extending training beyond the typical timeframe.
Since asking about parental leave is fraught for trainees, and many will worry that it will prejudice the site against them, sites should explain their parental leave policies during the interview phase to all trainees without waiting to be asked.
Sites may specify how much notice they would like the trainee to give them, if possible, prior to the start of parental leave time.