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Delaware Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Premiums Begin Jan. 1, 2025

Benefits Overview

Healthy Delaware Families Act

Delaware has enacted a paid family and medical leave program called the Healthy Delaware Families Act. The information below is based on current law; regulations are still under development. The program will provide paid leave benefits for an employee’s own serious health condition, to bond and care for a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, and for military qualifying exigencies. The information below is subject to change. 

  • Premiums begin Jan. 1, 2025
  • Benefits begin Jan. 1, 2026

Covered Leaves and Durations

Leave TypeCovered LeaveMaximum Leave Duration
Parental Leave
  • Care for a new child
Up to 12 weeks per application year
Medical Leave
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
Aggregate of 6 weeks in any 24-month period for Medical and Family Caregiving Leave(s)
Family Caregiving Leave
  • Address a personal serious health condition or injury
  • Assist while loved ones are on overseas military deployment 

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

"Application Year" is the 12-month period as defined by FMLA.

If two parents employed by the same employer are entitled to parental or family caregiver leave, the employer may limit aggregate number of weeks of leave to which both may be entitled to 12 weeks during any 12-month period. 

Weekly Benefit Amount

Benefit Calculation: 80% of wages 

Maximum Weekly Benefit: $900 

Minimum Weekly Benefit: The lesser of $100 per week or the employee’s average weekly wage 

Waiting Period

The state’s law does not include a benefit waiting period. 

Intermittent Leaves

Leaves on an intermittent and reduced schedule basis are allowed, but only when medically necessary and supported by documentation, and benefits are not payable in increments of less than one workday of leave per week.


Who's Covered

Covered Employers

  • Employers with 25 or more employees are subject to all requirements of the law (parental, medical and family caregiving)
  • Employers with 10 to 24 employees would be subject to only the parental leave requirements but can opt in for the medical and family caregiving requirements. 
  • Employers with 9 employees or fewer are exempt but can opt in for parental leave.
  • Small businesses can opt in and must participate for 3 years.

Excludes federal government and any business that is closed in its entirety for 30 consecutive days or more per year.

Covered Employees

Delaware employees with 12 months of service, and at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer in the previous 12 months. 

Generally, covered employees are those who are working in Delaware; however, employers can extend coverage to their employees working outside of Delaware. 

Covered Family Members

"Family member" means parent, child, and spouse. It does not include siblings, parents-in-law, or any other relations not specified.


How it Works

Plan Options

The law includes a provision allowing employers to satisfy the requirements of the law through a self-funded1 or fully insured private plan, if the private plan is offered to all employees and meets or exceeds the rights, protections and benefits provided to a covered employee under the state plan.

The Standard can help you with providing a private plan that will meet or exceed the state requirements. Learn more about our leave management services.

1 Self-funded plans must post a bond.


An employer may elect to pay all contributions or may deduct up to 50% of the required contributions from the employee’s wages.

For 2025 and 2026, contributions will equal the following percentages of wages: 

Total contribution rate: 0.8%

  • 0.32% for parental leave 
  • 0.4% for medical leave 
  • 0.08% for family caregiver leave

Contributions are capped at the Social Security taxable wage base of $168,600.

Beginning 2027, the rate would be 125% of a company’s contribution from the previous year.2

2 If the new contribution rate exceeds 1% of wages, the Department of Labor will reduce benefits from 80% of AWW to the lowest percentage of AWW that would still allow a contribution rate of less than 1%.

Additional Information Employers Need to Know

Delaware PFML includes job protection:

  • Employee is entitled to restoration to the same or an equivalent position.
  • Employees with 90 days of service or more are protected from interference and retaliation.

Delaware PFML includes Health Benefits protection:

  • Benefits continue during leave.
  • Employees must continue to pay employee share of health care benefits.

Employers that violate the law, including by not providing required leave or engaging in retaliation for taking leave, may be subject to damages. Damages may include lost wages, actual damages caused by leave denied, liquidated damages, attorney fees and reinstatement.

Delaware PFML Notification Requirements

Delaware PFML requires written notice of PFML rights to each employee:

  • At the time of hire, when an employee requests PFML, or when an employer knows an employee’s leave may be covered by PFML
  • Employers must conspicuously display a poster at their place of business in English, Spanish and any language that is the language spoken by at least 5% of the employer’s workforce

The notice should include general information about the employee's PFML benefits, amount of benefits, the procedure for filing a claim, their right to job protection and benefits continuation, and other relevant details.

More Information

  • Delaware PFML runs concurrently with federal FMLA if leave is for same qualifying reason. 
  • Employer may require that PFML payments be made concurrently or coordinated with payment or leave for the same reasons under a collective bargaining agreement or employer leave policy if employees are provided written notice of the requirement.
  • Employer may require employees to use accrued paid time off, including sick and vacation time, before using PFML benefits.
  • If the employee is not required to exhaust all paid time off, use of accrued paid time off counts toward the total length of PFML leave and benefits provided. If employer requires employee to exhaust other paid time off, use of accrued paid time does not count toward the total length of PFML leave and benefits provided.
  • Total of all benefits received cannot exceed 100% of covered employee’s average weekly wage.

Visit the Delaware Department of Labor page to learn more about Delaware’s PFML.

If you'd like to see how we can help you comply with leave laws, check out our leave management services. We offer both absence management and benefits administration so you can focus your time where you need it most.


Legislative Activity
May 19, 2022

On May 10, 2022, Governor John Carney signed the Healthy Delaware Families Act into law. The program will provide eligible Delaware workers job-protected paid leave benefits for up to 12 weeks for parental leave every year and up to a combined six weeks every two years for employees own medical needs, care of family members and military exigency. Except for parental leave benefits, an employee is only eligible for benefits once in a 24-month period. Contributions begin on January 1, 2025, with benefits effective January 1, 2026. Check in regularly to stay up to date as developments in this program occur.


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

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