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The Secretary of the Navy Increases Secondary Caregiver Leave to 21 Days

14 February 2022

From By MC2 Rebekah Watkins, Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

Sailors will now have more time to spend with their family after the birth or adoption of a child as the Department of the Navy increased its maximum Secondary Caregiver Leave (SCL) to 21 days. The Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, authorized the extension on February 11, 2022.

"Navy is dedicated to supporting our new parents, and we fully understand that our families are as much a part of our service as our Sailors," said Vice Adm. John B. Nowell, Jr. the chief of naval personnel.  

Nowell said, "This change, effective Feb. 11, is an interim solution while we await more significant changes anticipated as part of NDAA-22.   While we wait, we will work with the Department of Defense to update regulations and modify our E-Leave system to reflect the change."

NAVADMIN 037/22 released Feb.14 announced the policy change.

This policy change aligns secondary caregiver leave duration in the Navy and Marine Corps with that in the Army and Air Force.  The extension to three weeks comes in advance of an increase to twelve weeks authorized in the recently enacted NDAA, which will become effective at the end of 2022. 

The Navy's Parental Leave Program details are covered in MILPERSMAN article 1050-415 and are being updated to reflect the increase. Parental leave is "non-chargeable," meaning it does not count against a member's earned leave balance.

SCL is only for Sailors properly designated in their service records as secondary caregivers. The leave is authorized once either a Qualifying Birth Event (QBE) or Qualifying Adoption (QA) has happened. Steps necessary for Sailors and commands to ensure the member qualifies for the leave are also outlined in the MILPERSMAN article.

Sailors with a QBE or QA who have not yet taken their authorized Parental Leave as the Feb. 11 effective date qualify to take up to the new 21-day maximum with the approval of their chain of command. Parental leave must be taken within a year of the QBE or QA.

Those Sailors who have already taken their parental leave won't be eligible for additional non-chargeable leave under this program.

Complete details are available in NAVADMIN 037/22, and MILPERSMAN article 1050-415.

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