Beginning January 1, 2018, New York State will require 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 will provide guaranteed paid leave for families 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
- Spending time with a family member being called to active military service
While there is still no federal requirement for paid leave, employers across the country are watching to see how well the new program works. 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 get prepared before the policy takes 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.
Paid Family Leave Preparation Checklist for Success
Plan for Staffing
If you have one or more employees who may use Paid Family Leave 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 State Paid Family Leave will be financed through employee payroll deductions, so now is the time to start having a conversation with your payroll provider. Whether your payroll is handled in-house or by a third-party payroll processor, this team can help you get ahead of any process changes necessary to prepare for the implementation of PFL on January 1, 2018.
Have a conversation with your insurance broker or agent to ensure that both of you know what’s coming down the pike and what needs 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 make sure your company is fully compliant with today’s DBL requirements.
Because there’s a new policy being implemented, now is also a good time to do a quick sweep of housekeeping items you may have put to the side. A few examples include the following:
- 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 (when available)
- Make plans to include PFL to your mandatory signage in break rooms or in another prominent location in the building
Prepare for Employee Education
Prepare to educate employees and communicate to them the details and eligibility requirements of the new PFL benefit. Be sure to create 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. The more knowledge you attain now, the more smoothly the transition to PFL compliance will go.
It’s also a good idea to have a clear and open line of communication with your DBL agent so you know of any future policy changes before they’re implemented. This will ensure a fast and easy resolution if and when the time comes.
The First Step Toward PFL Compliance
Educating yourself now can help everyone be better prepared. Although not all of the details have been finalized yet, we hope this checklist helps you achieve an easier transition to PFL compliance 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 Paid Family Leave policy, AmTrust will need policy payroll information to provide an accurate quote. 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. The Paid Family Leave 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
Find out how you can help your New York State clients get prepared for the new Paid Family Leave Policy now by booking a training webinar with Joy Maas in the Disabilities Insurance department at AmTrust Financial.
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