On June 11, 2019, Governor Baker and the Massachusetts legislature agreed to extend by three months the July 1, 2019 starting date for employers to begin taking employee payroll deductions and making employer contributions to MA Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML). The new date is October 1, 2019. The purpose of the delay is to give employers more time to prepare to make payroll deductions and to decide whether to offer the MA PFML benefits through a private plan rather than through the state program.

This delay was granted at the request of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) as well as Raise Up Massachusetts, who were part of the task force that helped negotiate the MA PFML compromise legislation that was passed by the legislature in 2018.

The Governor’s office and legislature approved an increase in the amount of the premium so that the Commonwealth will not lose any premium collection as a result of the three-month delay. The contribution rate is being increased from 0.63 percent to 0.75 percent of wages on an annualized basis. Although there is no official response yet from the DFML on this increase, our sources are indicating it is only temporary so that the Commonwealth can collect the foregone premium. As of the date of this email, we do not have details about how long the higher rate will be in effect. The DFML also has not yet addressed whether the June 30, 2019 deadline for employers to provide notice to employees will also be delayed but, we expect that a delay of that requirement may be imminent.

The DFML online deduction calculator currently reflects the increased deduction amount (00.75%), but they have yet to update employer and client-facing documents to reflect this change. We will continue to monitor this evolving legislation and keep you informed to the best of our ability.

Business owners and HR professionals should proactively navigate to the DFML website to see the most recent updates, content, copies of required notices, deduction calculator and sign up for email alerts. If you have any questions or concerns about how this may affect your organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out using the form below.

Please Note: The state laws summaries featured on this site are for general informational purposes only. In addition to state law, certain municipalities may enact legislation that imposes different requirements. State and local laws change frequently and, as such, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information featured in the State Laws section. For more detailed information regarding state or local laws, please contact your state labor department or the appropriate local government agency.

Information provided by HR360, Inc.

John Turco

Senior Vice President | Employee Benefits

John Turco is a Senior Vice President in Employee Benefits at RogersGray Insurance by day – and professional comedian by night. Here at RogersGray, John serves as a lead advisor for employee benefit and human resources related topics like healthcare reform, HR business planning and alternative funding methods. In his spare time when he’s not spending time with his wife and their two children, John performs at various charitable events, comedy shows and corporate events. You can connect with John on LinkedIn or by email.