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In July, Massachusetts signed into law the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (MA PFML) program. Benefits through the program begin on January 1, 2021, while deductions to fund the program begin July 1, 2019. The new enforcing state agency, the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML), has established a website that will provide a portal of information for employers and employees as the new program is established.

While the new website is currently sparse, it will no doubt become the home for future resources and information as the regulatory process for the administration of the new program begins in full force.

The DFML has published 2 FAQs on the new website that provide some helpful information for employers and employees.

Some excerpts of the information provided for employers include:

I’m already offering family and medical leave benefits. Am I exempt from the state contribution?

You will be able to apply for annual exemptions from making contributions for both medical leave and family leave if you offer a private plan option that is at least as generous as what is required under the PFML law. If your business receives this exemption your employees will not be covered by the state PFML plan.

What is the contribution rate and how is it collected?

The contribution rate is 0.63% on the first $128,400 of an individual’s annual earnings. You are responsible for remitting the full contribution to the department but may deduct from an employee’s wages to cover the employee’s share.

Businesses that issue 1099s for more than 50% of their workforce must remit contributions for their 1099 workers (“covered individuals”) as well as their employees. If your business has 25 or more workers in total, you must pay the employer share of the contribution for family and medical leave for both employees and covered individuals.

When will the PFML regulations be published?

The statutory deadline for the publication of PFML regulations is March 31, 2019. Watch here for early drafts before then.

ReedGroup will be monitoring the regulatory process in Massachusetts closely, and will update you on the progress as it continues.