Paid Sick Leave Update
Updated as of 1:00 p.m. on April 7, 2021
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“Rescue Plan”). The Rescue Plan provided funding and changed tax policies to mitigate the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One such change extended the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s sick and family leave paid wages through September 30, 2021. Listed below are the changes that were made to the sick and family leave paid wages, effective April 1st through September 30th, an option most employers have available to them. For a full overview of the sick and family leave wages, click here.
- The Rescue plan adds three additional qualifications for using paid sick leave, including seeking and awaiting COVID-19 test results after an exposure or request by an employer, obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination or recovering from a side-effect to the COVID-19 vaccine.
- An employee’s available balance of paid sick time is reset to 10 days (max 80 hours) for full-time employees. If an employee did have remaining hours at March 31st, they cannot rollover.
- The expanded family medical leave qualifications are no longer limited to school or daycare closings related to COVID-19. Any qualifying circumstance of paid sick leave can be used as a reason to receive expanded family medical leave.
- Expanded family medical leave coverage increased to 12 weeks from 10 weeks. The two-week unpaid waiting period to take expanded family medical leave was removed.
- To receive the tax credit, an employer cannot discriminate who is entitled to the paid leave.
In addition, the Rescue Plan also extended the Employee Retention Tax Credit through December 31, 2021. For additional details on this, please refer to the following information found here.
Please let your MHCS advisor know if you have any questions.