Massachusetts has a statewide program that gives eligible employees paid time off to care for family or medical issues
Employers must make a contribution of 0.63% of wages for workers with 25 or more covered individuals. This is divided between 0.52% for medical leave and 0.11% for family leave.
What is PFML?
Mass paid family leave is a new law that provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to bond with a newborn child, to care for a seriously ill family member or to recover from a serious medical condition.
PFML is a mandatory program funded by payroll contributions from employees, employers and self-employed individuals. The contributions are based on a percentage of wages, capped at 100% for medical leave and 40% for family leave.
For 2023, the contribution rate for employers with 25 or more covered individuals is 0.63% of wages. Employees and employers can deduct up to 100% of these contributions from their wages.
Learn more about this on the Massachusetts Department of Family & Medical Leave’s website. Also, be sure to provide notice of PFML to your employees. The state provides a template for this. It may be in an email or a letter.
When work demands collide with family responsibilities, you may qualify for paid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In order to be eligible, you must have worked for a private employer for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period.
In addition, you must have been employed with your current employer for at least 26 consecutive weeks. If you have less than 26 weeks of continuous employment, you must be on a regular schedule of 20 or more hours per week.
Massachusetts’ new PFML law requires all employers — regardless of size – to offer job-protected, statewide family and medical leave benefits. This article will outline some of the key action items for Massachusetts employers to take in order to comply with PFML and ensure employees receive benefits as quickly and conveniently as possible. It will also provide an overview of some recent guidance and updates from the Department of Family and Medical Leave.
Mass paid family leave is an important tool to assist families who are affected by serious illness or a major life event. This program is designed to provide employees with a job-protected opportunity to care for a sick loved one, bond with a new child or manage their own serious medical condition.
Affected workers should review their policy to determine what benefits they may qualify for and how those benefits will be paid. Generally, employees are eligible for paid leave when they have been employed by the same employer for more than one year and have earned compensation in the last year
Under PFML, an employer who administers the program on behalf of the state can be reimbursed for payments made to covered individuals under a private or public paid disability, family, or medical leave policy that is equal to or greater than the amount required by the PFML law.
As you likely know, Massachusetts passed a new law in 2021 that provides up to 26 weeks of job-protected family and medical leave benefits. It is called Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML).
PFML is funded through premiums paid by employees, employers and the self-employed. It is separate from the federal Family Medical Leave Act and from other benefits your employer may offer.
Employees can begin to receive PFML payments after their request for leave is approved. The first 7 weekly PFML benefit checks will go to the employer, and the rest will be sent directly to the employee.
PFML pays employees a percentage of their average weekly wage at the time they are taking leave and the established MA weekly wage. If an employee has a private short-term disability or long-term disability policy, the actual amount of the disability benefit can be used to reduce the PFML benefit dollar for dollar.