University of Illinois System

Child Extended Bereavement Leave


The Illinois Child Extended Bereavement Act (Public Act 103-0466), also referred to as Zachary’s Parent Protection Act, provides up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for eligible employees if the employee experiences the loss of a child by suicide or homicide.


All employees of the University of Illinois System are eligible for Child Extended Bereavement Leave. This leave may be taken if the employee experiences the loss of a child by suicide or homicide. Child includes the employees’:

  • Biological child
  • Adopted child
  • Foster child
  • Stepchild
  • Legal ward
  • Child for whom the employee was standing in loco parentis.


Child Extended Bereavement Leave may be taken in a block of time or intermittently. The minimum increment of usage is four (4) hours. In instances where the employee’s workday is less than four (4) hours in a given day, the employee’s scheduled workday shall be used to determine the amount of paid leave. Leave provided under this act must be used within one (1) year after the employee notified their human resources department contact, university human resources, or system human resources of the death.

Other Provisions

Employees eligible for Paid University Funeral/Bereavement Leave , Unpaid Family Bereavement Leave, VESSA or Child Extended Bereavement Leave may only elect to utilize one leave for the death of a child.

Employees may use accrued leave benefits (sick leave, vacation leave, floating holidays) to remain in pay status while on Child Extended Bereavement Leave in accordance with University of Illinois System leave provisions. All leave taken in paid and/or unpaid status will count towards the maximum twelve (12)-week entitlement of Child Extended Bereavement Leave. It does not run concurrently with Family Medical Leave (FML).

Relationships existing due to marriage will terminate upon the death or divorce of the relative through whom the marriage relationship exists. Current marital status will be defined in accordance with Illinois State law.

Approval and Documentation

Employees requesting Child Extended Bereavement Leave must request and submit the leave application to their human resources department contact, university human resources, or system human resources. When possible, the employee should provide verbal notice within two working days of learning of the need for leave.

Substantiation of the reason for unpaid Child Extended Bereavement leave may be required. Employees may be requested to submit reasonable documentation. If requested, employees may provide a death certificate, a published obituary, or written verification of death, burial, or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, crematorium, religious institution, or government agency.

Leave Application: Family and Medical Leave / Parental Leave / Unpaid Family Bereavement Leave: PDF

Benefits Continuation

Health, Life, and Dental Benefits

While utilizing Child Extended Bereavement leave, employees continue to receive the same State and University benefits as when actively working. Employees approved for Child Extended Bereavement Leave who are opting to be unpaid, should contact University Payroll & Benefits as soon as possible, in addition to working with their human resources department, university human resources, or system human resources contacts.

Child Extended Bereavement leave is unpaid, however the employee may choose to use other leave to remain in pay status (see Other Provisions above). If an employee chooses to take the leave unpaid, the employee is responsible for paying their monthly premium directly to Central Management Services (CMS).  CMS will bill the employee for the same insurance premium amount (including for dependents) as their payroll deduction. If an employee wants to make any changes to their coverage while on unpaid leave, they should login to MyBenefits or call the MyBenefits Service Center (toll free 844-251-1777) to make the appropriate changes to their coverage.

If the employee does not make the required payments during the leave period, the CMS Group Insurance Division (GID) will terminate the member and any dependent’s coverage the first day of the month for which payment is not received.  When coverage is terminated for this reason,  the employee and/or their dependents are ineligible to continue coverage under COBRA and will not receive a COBRA notification letter (eligible or ineligible).

CMS will take action to collect all outstanding premium(s), which may include involuntary withholding once the employee returns to pay status. The University may recover the premiums paid for maintaining coverage for employees if the employee fails to return from Child Extended Bereavement leave.

For employees approved for Child Extended Bereavement Leave and who are opting to remain in paid status, there is no change in their coverage or deduction amounts.  

State Universities Retirement System

To determine the effect of unpaid leave on the accumulation of service time for retirement and to discuss continuation of contributions, contact SURS.


Public Act
U of I Leave Usage Report (MS Excel Format)