Preparing for Paid Family Leave Programs - Part One
Both Massachusetts and Connecticut are in the midst of rolling out Paid Family and Medical Leave programs. This is part one of what MA employers will need to know to prep for January 2021.
MA employers are about a year into the MA Paid Family and Medical Leave program and thus far, employers had to worry about collecting the appropriate deduction through payroll to start to fund the program. Employers with more than 25 or more covered employees are responsible for paying a portion of the 0.75% according to the breakdown below.
Employers with fewer than 25 covered employees are not responsible for paying a portion of the contribution but are still responsible for collecting and remitting on the employee's behalf, their contribution.
These withholdings began in October 2019 so your payroll company likely took care of establishing the withholdings.
Deadline of October 31, 2020
Employers should have received an email from the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) with the subject line Action Required: Submit Your Leave Administrator Contact Information. Employers will need to register their point of contact who will be administering leaves with the DFML by October 31, 2020.
Beginning December 2, 2020
Covered employees can start applying for paid family leave benefits to bond with a child however benefits can’t be taken until January 2021.
Beginning January 1, 2021
At the beginning of 2021, covered employees will be eligible to take paid family and medical leave.
To be eligible to receive paid leave under PFML, a worker must have earned at least $5100 in the previous 12 months.
PFML will provide Massachusetts workers with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid family leave, up to 20 weeks of job-protected, paid medical leave, or up 26 weeks of combined family and medical leave in a benefit year.
Employers are required to maintain the employee’s health insurance at the same levels the employee had prior to going on leave.
Covered employees may take leave for the following reasons:
The employee is unable to work due to a serious medical condition.
Bond with a newborn or newly adopted child
Manage family affairs when a family member is on active duty
Beginning July 1, 2020
Covered employees will be able to take leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition
Employers will also want to ensure their PFMLA poster is posted in the workplace. New employees must also be notified within 30 days of hire.
There is also an exemption that MA employers can apply for if they offer a private plan that provides benefits that are equal or better than the established PFML benefits.
The online system is set to go live in December 2020.