While we have entered a new year, the COVID-19 pandemic is still surging through the country. There are important changes to paid sick leave regarding the coronavirus that employers should know about.
No Mandatory Extension of the FFCRA
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law in March of 2020. This law allowed specific businesses with less than 500 employees to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave as well as paid expanded family and medical leave with specific exceptions. This applied to employees who contracted the COVID-19 virus and had to quarantine or if they were exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus. It also applied to employees with children home on remote school that could not find alternative childcare.
However, the mandatory requirement portion of the act ended on December 31, 2020, and many business owners and impacted employees were curious as to whether it would be extended. While Congress did approve a new $900 billion coronavirus relief bill, the FFCRA employer mandatory requirement to participate was not extended into the new year.
Voluntary Extension of the FFCRA
Employers will be delighted to know they now have the option to participate in this government program. Employers may voluntarily provide FFCRA paid leave to employees through March 31, 2021, and in doing so, they will continue to receive a payroll tax credit.
The extension of the FFCRA only applies to employees who have not already exhausted their benefits. However, if any of your employees have exhausted their FFCRA and still need assistance, they may contact the state department of labor to see what programs are available.
While the FFCRA is not fully being extended into 2021, it is essential to have a plan in place in the event an employee contracts the COVID-19 virus. This voluntary program provides financial assistance to the employer to assist employees during this pandemic. This will help to keep the virus contained, as well as make sure they are able to recover and, hopefully, come back to work when deemed fit.
Abacus Payroll is here for our clients as we make our way through pandemic recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 856-667-6225. From our latest tax knowledge thanks to our relationship with Alloy Silverstein Accountants and Advisors or if you need supplemental HR guidance, our payroll packages can be custom fit for your small business. Request a quote today.