As part of the Massachusetts “Grand Bargain,” paid family and medical leave (PFML) has been taking shape. The law will provide paid family and employee medical leave benefits for Massachusetts workers in 2021. Also, it will establish a Department and process for paid family leave of up to 12 weeks to care for a family member, and up to 20 weeks for an individual employee’s own ailment or disability.
The tax that will pay for these benefits will begin in July 2019, and paid leave benefits themselves will be available beginning in 2021. The initial contribution rate will be 0.63 percent of all wages (or other qualifying earnings or payments). This amount is anticipated to increase over time, however no set schedule for this has been communicated to employers.
Businesses that employ one or more individuals are subject to the PFML law and must submit contributions on behalf of workers and covered individuals. Employers with fewer than 25 employees must submit contributions on behalf of their employees to cover the portion of PFML contribution due from employees and covered individuals, however they are not required to pay the employer portion of the contributions for family and medical leave. The Department has stated that cities, towns, districts, and political subdivisions are exempt unless they decide to opt in.
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