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Apr 13, 2022 ConnectPay

Mass. Paid Family Leave: What You Need to Know in 2022

Mass. Paid Family Leave: What You Need to Know in 2022

Is your Massachusetts-based business compliant with the newest Mass Paid Family Leave legislation?

More employees are taking advantage of paid family leave than ever before. In fact, recent polls suggest that almost three-quarters of Americans support paid family leave and in Massachusetts alone, the Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave approved over 43,000 applications in the first six months of 2021. As such, understanding the ins and outs of Paid Family Leave is essential for small businesses to maintain continuous payroll compliance.

But how can you determine which workers qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave in Mass? And how will the 2022 changes to Mass Paid Family Leave impact your bottom line?

Let’s examine Mass Paid Family and Medical Leave a little more closely, diving into the details of what this policy entails, how it’s changed for 2022, and what it means for your small business.

Mass Paid Family Leave: What is PFML

Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) in Massachusetts is a law that provides employees with paid time off for medical reasons, either for themselves or to care for family members. Although it sounds similar in name, Mass Paid Family Leave is a separate law from the federal government’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and has a different set of rules, qualifications, and costs as well.

It’s important that small business owners understand Mass Paid Family Leave because this program is completely funded through employer and employee contributions. At ConnectPay, we work with many small businesses to help them understand their Mass PFML contributions, so their payroll taxes are done correctly. We’re happy to share what we know below so you can continue to calculate payroll taxes quickly and accurately as well!

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Mass Paid Family Leave Qualifications

To qualify for Mass Paid Family Leave, an employee must earn at least $5,700 within a calendar year and make at least 30 times the benefit they’re eligible for. Self-employed individuals may qualify for Mass Paid Family Leave too, as long as they opt in using MassTaxConnect.

In total, up to 12 weeks of paid family leave, 20 weeks of paid medical leave, or a combined 26 weeks of paid family and medical leave can be taken by someone that qualifies for the program. Let’s break down what this looks like a little more clearly.

Qualifying Reasons for PFML:

  • If you need to manage your own serious health condition, you can take up to 20 weeks of leave.
  • If you need to care for a family member’s serious health condition, you can take up to 12 weeks of leave.
  •  If you need to bond with a child during their first year of birth, adoption, or placement, you can take up to 12 weeks of leave.
  •  If you need to manage affairs for a family member on active duty, you can take up to 12 weeks of leave.
  •  If you need to take care of a family member injured in active duty, you can take up to 26 weeks of leave.

A health condition, which could include an illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth, is deemed as serious if it is certified by a health care professional.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some employers may not be covered by Mass Paid Family Leave at all – a comprehensive list of exclusions can be found here, although a good rule of thumb is that any employers excluded from unemployment are also excluded from Paid Family and Medical Leave. 

 

Mass Paid Family Leave Costs

Contribution rates for PFML in Mass differ based on an employer’s size.

For Businesses With 25+ Employees:

  • Medical leave contribution that employees must pay is .224% on eligible wages
  • Family leave contribution that employees must pay .12% on eligible wages
  • Medical leave contribution that employers pay is .336% on eligible wages

For Businesses Under 25 Employees

  • Medical leave contribution that employees must pay is .224% on eligible wages
  • Family leave contribution that employees must pay is .12% on eligible wages
  • Medical leave contribution that employers pay is optional.

In terms of payout, the program’s maximum weekly benefit is $1084.31 per week, which is up from $850 in 2021. This benefit is based on an employee’s average weekly wages, while their full-time or part-time status also plays a role in how much time is covered. 

Related Read: Can Employees Use PTO While On FMLA Leave

 

Managing Mass Paid Family Leave in 2022 and Beyond

To stay on top of Mass Paid Family Leave laws year over year, you can check the Mass.gov website here. However, if you don’t want to wade through endless state requirements and updates, it may be more beneficial to work with a small business payroll partner who can set up your payroll taxes and help you manage your contributions. Contact our team of payroll experts to get started today!

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Published by ConnectPay April 13, 2022