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Delaware Department of Labor

Delaware Paid Leave Is Coming It's time to get your business ready!

A stylistic illustration showing a person a wheel chair on the right, enjoying the outdoors, facing his parents and two siblings on the left. In the center, is text that reads: Delaware Paid Leave. Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program

Delaware Paid Leave goes into full effect January 1, 2026.

It’s a win-win for employees who need support during a health or family event, and for employers who want to attract and retain top-quality personnel. Most businesses with 10 or more employees are required to participate. Get to know the guidelines now so you’re ready to fulfill the requirements later.

If you are an employer and you have any questions about either extending your existing paid time off plan or reducing the maximum number of weeks that your employees can take for Parental Leave, please contact our 24/7/365 Grandfathering Hotline at (302) 761-8375.

Here’s What You Need to Know.

How Delaware Paid Leave Works.

Delaware Paid Leave offers paid leave to employees who have been employed for at least one year and at least 1,250 hours with a single employer. If their leave is approved, employees will get up to 80% of their wages (up to $900 per week) to cover the following:

  • 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)

Employees are limited to a maximum of 12 weeks of total, combined leave per year.

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.

What Businesses Must Comply.

Participation in Delaware Paid Leave is mandatory for most businesses with 10 or more employees.

Employer TypeLeave Requirements
9 or fewer employeesExempt
10 to 24 employeesParental Leave Only
25 or more employeesFull Coverage
Federal government employeesExempt
Seasonal operations that shut down for a month or moreExempt

If You Currently Have a Paid Family Medical Leave Program.

If you offer a private paid leave benefit that is comparable to Delaware Paid Leave, you can apply to opt out of the Delaware Paid Leave plan so that your existing paid leave benefit is grandfathered.  To qualify for grandfathering, your benefit program must:

  • Be in writing and have been in place before the Healthy Delaware Families Act was signed into law,
  • Not cost employees more than Delaware Paid Leave,
  • Be within 10% of the main benefit provisions of Delaware Paid Leave; and
  • Parental leave plans must cover employees regardless of sex, gender, or marital status.

Our grandfathering portal will walk you through the application process.

As an employer, you must make your choice to temporarily extend your existing paid time off benefits by January 1, 2024.

If you have between 10 and 24 employees, you can reduce your employees’ maximum Parental Leave benefit duration from the normally required 12 weeks to anywhere between 6 and 11 weeks. You can do this through the same online application process.

A stylistic illustration of a calendar flanked by a family and text: Key Rollout Dates.

To make Delaware Paid Leave easier to implement, it will be done in stages.

May 11, 2022 – Delaware Paid Leave (Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program) was signed into law.

July 11, 2023 – The regulations for Delaware Paid Leave went into effect.

October 1, 2023 to January 1, 2024 – Portal opens to allow employers to Grandfather existing paid time off benefits and/or reduce their employees’ Parental Leave duration.

September 1, 2024 to December 1, 2024 – Opt-In/Opt-Out opens for employers who wish to use a private plan to opt-out and for small groups to opt-in to Delaware Paid Leave.

January 1, 2025 – Contributions for Delaware Paid Leave begin.

January 1, 2026 – Employees can begin to submit claim applications for payment.




Delaware Paid Leave Public Forums

October 10, 2023

October 4, 2023

September 28, 2023

September 21, 2023

July 19, 2023

Healthy Delaware Families Act

Signed into law on May 10, 2022, this Act created the Delaware Paid Leave insurance program that requires employers in the state to provide their employees with Paid Family Medical Leave.

Regulations for Delaware Paid Leave

These regulations explain and clarify the provisions of the Healthy Delaware Families Act. Additional regulations are forthcoming on issues that remain to be further detailed.

Summary of Public Comments

More Questions? Check Out Our FAQs.

Information about compensation, employee eligibility, and more is here. Answers to most Frequently Asked Questions will help you learn more about Delaware Paid Leave.

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If you have a question about Delaware Paid Leave, or would like to schedule a presentation for your business, email