Updates To Massachusetts Paid Family And Medical Leave For 2023
The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) recently announced its annual updates to the contribution rates and maximum weekly benefit amounts under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) statute. The changes will take effect January 1, 2023.
Massachusetts employers should ensure that their PFML policies and payroll systems reflect these changes, and notify their employees of the new rates, as well.
Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount
The PFML law provides a weekly cash benefit to employees who take leave for covered family-related or medical reasons. The maximum weekly cash benefit amount is adjusted annually by the DFML.
Due to recent increases in Massachusetts’s average weekly wage, the maximum amount that an eligible employee will receive in PFML benefits in 2023 will increase from $1,084.31 to $1,129.82 per week.
PFML benefits are funded through employer and employee contributions. The required contribution rates are set annually.
Although the maximum weekly benefit amount for employees will increase, the contribution rates under the PFML law will actually decrease. For 2023, the contribution rate for employers with 25 or more covered individuals will be reduced from 0.68% to 0.63% of eligible wages. The 0.63% contribution rate is split between a medical leave contribution of 0.52% and a family leave contribution of 0.11%.
Similarly, the contribution rate for employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals will be reduced from 0.344% to 0.318% of eligible wages. The 0.318% contribution rate is split between a medical leave contribution of 0.208% and a family leave contribution of 0.11%.
The proportions of PFML contributions that employers may withhold from covered individuals’ wages will not change. Employers may still withhold up to 100% of the family leave contribution from covered individuals’ wages. Employers with 25 or more covered individuals may still withhold up to 40% of the medical leave contribution from covered individuals’ wages, while employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals may withhold up to 100% of the medical leave contribution from covered individuals’ wages.
These new contribution rates apply equally to employers that have approved private PFML plans, so employers with private plans should likewise review and update their plans and contribution rates for 2023.
In addition to updating their personnel policies and ensuring that their payroll systems reflect these changes, employers are required to provide notice to employees of the changes at least 30 days in advance of the effective date – i.e., by December 2, 2022. Notice should be given in the same manner an employer uses to inform employees of other policies and updates, and in a manner that is easily available to employees. The DFML provides template notice forms on its website that employers may use to provide this notice.
Employers are also required to post the official PFML workplace poster, which is available on the DFML’s website. Employers can anticipate an updated poster, reflecting the 2023 changes, in the next month.
In addition, employers are required to provide notice of the PFML law to new employees within 30 days of their starting work. The DFML provides a template notice on its website, which will likely be updated at the end of this year.
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If you have questions about these changes or any other issues under the Massachusetts PFML law, please feel free to contact one of our experienced employment lawyers.