Beginning October 1, 2019, Massachusetts will start a state-offered benefit, the Paid Family Medical Leave program (PFML). The PFML applies to anyone who works in Massachusetts and allows the individual to take up to 26 weeks of paid leave for medical or family reasons.
Generally, Massachusetts employees will make contributions toward the PFML. In most cases, employers with over 25 employees (a large employer) in the immediately preceding year will also be responsible for making employer contributions to the program . A Massachusetts employer that has over 50% of its workforce as independent contractors will include those independent contractors in the employee count and will contribute for those contractors if the employer is deemed to be a large employer. The employee and employer contributions depend on the size of the Massachusetts employer’s workforce. PFML has established minimum employer contributions percentages and maximum employee contribution percentages. See charts below that are from the Mass.gov website. Large employers will have to remit a contribution to the Department of Family and Medical Leave of .75% of eligible wages. The contribution may be split between employee withholdings and an employer contribution. The Medical Leave contribution is .62% of eligible wages and the Family Leave contribution is .13% of eligible wages. The medical leave minimum employer share is 60% and the employee share may not exceed 40%. The Family Leave minimum employer contribution percentage is zero and the maximum employee share is 100%.
Employers with fewer than 25 employees (small employers) must remit an effective contribution rate of .378% of eligible wages. Small employers do not have to make employer contributions to PFML but remit funds withheld from their employees paychecks. The Medical Leave contribution is .248% of eligible wages and the Family Leave contribution is .13% of eligible wages. Both the Medical Leave and the Family Leave contribution may be 100% funded by the employee.
Individual contributions are capped by the Social Security income limit, which is currently $132,000.
Employers will need to register for the Paid Family and Medical Leave program by using the MassTaxConnect account.
Certain Massachusetts employers may be exempt from the program if the employer already has a Family and Medical leave program that has paid leave benefits equal to or more generous than those provided under the Paid Family Medical Leave program.
The Mass.gov website has significant information on the new Paid Family and Medical Leave program.
Please contact us at 401-831-0200 if you have questions.
Chart for the Total Contribution Allocation – Small Employers*
Chart for the Total Contribution Allocation – Large Employer*
*Note: Charts came from the Massachusetts government’s website: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/family-and-medical-leave-contribution-rates-for-employers