Effective January 1, 2018, New York State requires all in-state employers to comply with the New York State Paid Family Leave Policy (PFL). Designed to provide financial stability for state residents through major life changes, the new policy provides guaranteed paid leave for eligible employees in three life circumstances including:
- The addition of a new child into the family home
- The care of a family member with a serious health condition
- A family member being deployed abroad on active military service
While there is still no federal requirement for paid leave, employers across the country are watching to see how well this new program works in New York. Until then, it may be useful for agents in the State of New York to provide guidance and assistance for compliance to customers and clients to help them moving forward now that the policy has taken effect.
For that, we’ve created a short New York State Paid Family Leave Client Preparation Checklist for Success. Check it out now, and feel free to share this post with your clients.
Plan for Staffing
If you have one or more employees who may use PFL in 2018, you need to have the right staff in place to cover their workload while they’re out. There are many ways to make sure you’re covered during an employee’s PFL, but they all start with a plan of action.
Start now by making sure you have cross-training plans in place. And if necessary, consider starting a relationship with a short-term staffing company to see you through the employee’s absence. You’ll also want to create a guide or process for tracking eligibility requirements and requests for PFL, so you can ensure the proper level of benefits and leave time are implemented.
Get Payroll in Order
New York PFL is financed through employee payroll deductions, so be sure to discuss this with your payroll provider if you haven’t done so already. Whether your payroll is handled in-house or by a third-party payroll processor, this team can help you with any process changes now that PFL has been implemented.
Check with your insurance broker or agent to ensure that both of you know what’s coming down the pike and what may need to be done about it. This is also a good time to confirm that your current statutory disability (DBL) carrier will remain in the PFL/DBL market. In addition, you should confirm that your company is fully compliant with today’s DBL requirements.
Now that this new policy has been implemented, you should do a quick sweep of housekeeping items you may have put to the side. This includes the following examples:
- Locate, organize and update employee policies
- Include PFL guidance in new employee handbooks
- Gather PFL forms, such as the Request for Paid Family Leave form
- Make sure you have included PFL in your mandatory signage in break rooms or in another prominent location in the building
Continue to educate employees and communicate to them the details and eligibility requirements of the new PFL benefit. Be sure to provide written documentation of the new policy, including eligibility requirements, so employees have a reference in-hand when necessary.
Education is a key component to PFL compliance, so continue to ask questions as they arise. Your insurance agency, HR providers and third-party payroll processors are there to answer your questions.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear and open line of communication with your DBL agent so you know of any policy changes before they’re implemented. This will ensure a fast and easy resolution if and when the time comes.
How to Get a Quote for Paid Family Leave Coverage for Your Clients
If your New York State clients are looking for high quality DBL coverage to comply with the new PFL policy, AmTrust will need policy payroll information to provide an accurate quote. For 2018, the payroll wage totals must include a cap adjustment for those employees that make over the statewide average weekly wage of $1,305.
For example, if the employee makes over $67,860 (SAWW $1,305 x 52 weeks), the employer must only report the wages up to that amount for 2018. The PFL rate of 0.126% will be applied to the total adjusted wages provided by the employer to calculate the Paid Family Leave premium amount.
Learn More About the New York State Paid Family Leave Policy
Want to learn more about coverage for Paid Family Leave? Check out the Statutory Disability Insurance for business offerings at AmTrust Financial now.
This material is for informational purposes only, summarizes coverages and services that may be available in a policy, and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states. In the event of a conflict with the material herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control.