BREAKING: Delay to Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions Expected

BREAKING: Delay to Massachusetts Paid Family
and Medical Leave Contributions Expected

Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker and leaders of the state legislature agreed to delay by three months the Paid Family and Medical Leave contributions that were set to begin on July 1, 2019.  As a consequence of the delay, the contribution rate will increase from 0.63% to 0.75% of wages. The breakdown of that new contribution rate between family and medical leave and what portion employers may deduct from an employee’s pay are not known at this time. The delay will not impact the date employees may begin taking Paid Family and Medical Leave, which is January 1, 2021.
Massachusetts leaders issued the following joint statement regarding their agreement to delay the contributions: 
“To ensure businesses have adequate time to implement the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program, the House, Senate, and Administration have agreed to adopt a three month delay to the start of required contributions to the program. We will also adopt technical changes to clarify program design. We look forward to the successful implementation of this program this fall.”
In order to enact the agreed-upon delay, the legislature must advance a bill and Governor Baker must sign it.  Employers should watch for that over the coming days and weeks.
The current deadline for providing written notice about the PFML is June 30, 2019.  We anticipate that the Department of Paid Family and Medical Leave will release a revised notice once more details about the new contribution rate and its breakdown are established.  Until the delay becomes official, employers who have not yet provided the required written notices to employees should hold off on doing so.  Employers who have provided notice should not provide any new information to employees until they receive formal notification that the change has gone into effect.
If you need assistance communicating the new changes to your employees once the delay is enacted and additional details of the changes are released, Skoler Abbott attorneys can help you develop the best communication plan and strategy for your business going forward.

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