Three things you should know about your benefits


HR@Your Service

1: MIT has a backup child-care and elder-care program.

Maybe this has happened to you. Your child's day-care center is closed on a holiday that you have to work. You can't reschedule an important meeting that day and your backup provider is busy. Help is on the way! All benefits-eligible MIT employees and postdoc fellows can access backup childcare referrals through Parents in a Pinch Inc. This program provides referrals to screened and trained in-home caregivers when temporary care is needed to cover the work time of the employee. Childcare providers are available to come to your home, office or other meeting place.

In addition, backup elder care providers are also offered. Screened and trained backup elder providers can offer companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, prompts for medications or can accompany an elder to a doctor's appointment. Elder-care providers are available to come to your home or the elder's. They are also available to provide for spouses, partners, relatives--or you. And you can also get help with long-distance elder-care arrangements.

MIT participants can request up to 10 child-care and/or elder-care referrals annually and do not pay any registration or placement fees, only the caregiver fee, which is $15 per hour. For elder care only, participants reimburse the round-trip transportation costs of $0.50 per mile, up to a maximum of $20 per day. Care is available on short notice at any time, day or night, any day of the week, but you need to preregister for this service through the Center for Work, Family and Personal Life; you may complete the preregistration form online through links on the Center's web site: hrweb.mit.edu/worklife/. Please contact the Center at 617-253-1592 or e-mail worklife@mit.edu for additional assistance.

2: There is an amendment to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

On Jan. 28, President George W. Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which amends the FMLA to provide broader leave protections to families of members of the armed services. This act has expanded FMLA leave to care for an ill or injured service member. Under the act, the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered service member may take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave in a single 12-month period to care for the service member. This leave is not in addition to the 12 weeks of FMLA leave. 

To access the required forms for all FMLA leaves, go to web.mit.edu/hr/fmla/index.html and click on the Leave Related Forms tab to download the Medical Certification and Leave Request forms. E-mail the Disabilities Services and Medical Leaves Office for more information at hr-dsmlo@mit.edu or call 617-253-4572.

3: Your vesting has changed.

Effective Jan. 1, 2008, you are now vested in your MIT Basic Retirement Plan after you have been employed by MIT for three full years--it was previously five years. The MIT Basic Retirement Plan is a defined-benefit plan, which means it provides you with a benefit payable as lifetime monthly income at retirement. MIT pays the full cost of the plan and you are enrolled automatically. E-mail retirement@mit.edu for any questions. In the next couple of weeks you will receive your plan statements in the mail. These statements are being printed this year due to feedback received from the MIT community.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: On June 12, Human Resources and the Working Group on Support Staff Issues will co-host "Your Professional Development Toolkit," a half-day program open to all support staff. This will be held in conjunction with the annual Support Staff Appreciation Lunch. Look for details in the April 30 edition of HR@Your Service.

HR@Your Service is a monthly column from Human Resources.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 19, 2008 (download PDF).


Topics: Administration, Campus services, Staff

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