Revised Del. Paid Family & Medical Leave Bill Introduced

A revised version of a bill that would make paid family and medical leave available for working Delaware families has been introduced in the General Assembly.

Sponsors said Monday that Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill One has undergone a number of changes since the introduction of the Healthy Delaware Families Act last spring.

“Through good-faith negotiations and a shared desire to make life better for working families, Delaware will succeed where Congress fell short. With these compromises, we will pass paid leave, strengthening our local business community and providing workers with one of the most impactful new employment benefits in our state’s history,” State Senator Sarah McBride, D-North Wilmington said. “Passing this bill will ensure thousands of families in Delaware never again face an impossible choice between earning a paycheck and welcoming a newborn, caring for a sick loved one or adjusting to a recent military deployment. Paid leave works for families. Paid leave works for businesses. And paid leave will work for Delaware.” 

The legislation would create a family and medical leave trust fund, funded through small payroll contributions equal to less than one-percent of an employee’s weekly play and split evenly between a worker and the employer. Up to 80% of an eligible worker’s wages could be be covered for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

The substitute bill delays implementation, with the premium beginning in 2025 and the benefits starting in 2026.

“We set the example by becoming one of the first states to establish paid parental leave for state employees and teachers. Now it’s time for us to take another step toward ensuring every worker in Delaware has access to paid family and medical leave,” State Representative Debra Heffernan, D-Bellefonte said. “Our parental leave program has been an undeniable success, improving the health and wellbeing of families while boosting state employee recruitment and retention. As we did before in creating a program for state workers, Delaware must again lead on leave.” 

A Senate committee will review the bill Wednesday. For a link to the virtual hearing, please CLICK HERE