As a Massachusetts employer, you're likely going to have new responsibilities under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. This guide is intended to help you prepare for those responsibilities before the law's effective date of Oct. 1, 2019.
Guide A guide to Paid Family and Medical Leave for Massachusetts employers
Table of Contents
Starting Oct. 1, 2019, you should begin:
- Making deductions from wages or payments for services made to your workforce in order to fund quarterly contributions to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML). Contributions will be submitted through the Department of Revenue's MassTaxConnect system beginning in January 2020.
- Preparing for quarterly reporting, of gross wages or other payments to all Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contract workers
For the most part, the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law follows the unemployment statute (M.G.L. c. 151A) for determining things like what constitutes wages, where services are performed, and what qualifies as excluded employment.
Depending on the makeup of your Massachusetts workforce, you may be responsible for remitting contributions for both Massachusetts W-2 employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal) and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, as an employer, you're responsible for:
- Reporting wages paid, payment for contract services rendered, and other information about your workforce
- Determining contribution amounts for your workforce and for any contribution due from you as an employer where applicable
- Making deductions to cover worker contributions from payments you make to your workforce, either as wages or as payments for services from Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors
- Notifying your workforce of the PFML law
Additional Resources for Employer responsibilities
Notifying your workforce
You're required to notify your workforce about the state's PFML program, including its benefits and protections that apply to them. This notification includes:
- Displaying the Paid Family and Medical Leave workplace poster in a highly-visible location
- Providing written notice of contributions, benefits, and workforce protections to Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors
- Collecting signed acknowledgments of receipt of such notice from Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors
Note: Please use your FEIN as your Employer ID Number on the “Employer Notice to Employee” and the “Employer Notice to Self-Employed Individual” Forms.
Additional Resources for Notifying your workforce
The average size and configuration of your workforce (Massachusetts W-2 employees and Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors) for the previous calendar year will determine:
- Whether only your Massachusetts W-2 employees or all of your workforce is covered under the law
- Whether you will be required to remit contributions only for Massachusetts W-2 employees or for Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors providing services to you as well
- Whether you will be responsible for paying an employer share of the contributions
As an employer, you're responsible for remitting all contributions following each quarterly report filed with DFML through MassTaxConnect.
Additional Resources for Required contributions
Reporting and documentation
All employers will be required to file quarterly reports through MassTaxConnect beginning in January 2020. Reporting and documentation guidelines will be announced prior to Oct. 1, 2019.
In the meantime, plan to include the following information in your reports:
Massachusetts workforce information (this includes any Massachusetts 1099-MISC contractors):
- Social Security number
- Wages paid or other payments for services
- Federal employer identification number (FEIN)
Exemptions for approved private plans
If you already provide a paid leave benefit to your workforce, you may be eligible to receive an exemption from collecting, remitting, and paying contributions for paid family or medical leave under the state's PFML law.
The benefits offered to your employees by your approved private plan must be greater than or equal to the benefits provided by the PFML law to be granted an exemption. You can apply for an exemption from the medical leave contribution, family leave contribution, or both. You'll be able to apply for these annual exemptions through your MassTaxConnect account.
Additional Resources for Exemptions for approved private plans
As a self-employed individual, you aren't required to participate in the state's PFML program. However, you may elect to purchase coverage. If you do so, you will be responsible for paying the full 0.75 percent contribution rate for both family and medical leave.