Family and medical leave contribution rates for employers

Beginning Oct. 1, 2019, most Massachusetts employers will be required to make payroll withholdings on behalf of their workforce in compliance with the Paid Family and Medical Leave law. These withholdings are based on contribution rates set by the Department of Family and Medical Leave to fund the administration of benefits.

Table of Contents

Overview

Employers are responsible for remitting family and medical leave contributions to the Department of Family and Medical Leave on behalf of their covered individuals. Larger employers with 25 or more covered individuals are responsible for paying a share of the required contributions. Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals are not required to pay the employer’s share of contributions but must still remit payment on behalf of their covered individuals.

The charts below offer a general breakdown of these contribution rates while our contribution calculator allows you to better estimate how this will look for you and your Massachusetts workforce.

Individual contributions are capped by the Social Security income limit, which is currently set at $132,900. The 2019 PFML income limit is calculated on wages or payments made to covered individuals from Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019.

Employers may deduct varying contribution percentages from their covered individuals as long as they don't exceed the maximum percentages listed below. For example:

  • An employer with employees covered by multiple collective bargaining agreements can vary the amounts it withholds from employees in each of those bargaining units
  • An employer can withhold varying amounts among full-time and part-time staff

Employers are advised to consult with their legal counsel as to the advisability of implementing different percentages within their own organization.

Contribution rate split for employers with 25 or more covered individuals

Employers with 25 or more covered individuals will be required to remit a contribution to the Department of Family and Medical Leave of 0.75% of eligible wages. This contribution can be split between covered individuals’ payroll or wage withholdings and an employer contribution.

Breakdown of how the total contribution (.75%) is split among medical leave contribution (.62%) and family leave contribution (.13%).

Family leave

Up to 100% of the family leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.13% of eligible wages).

Medical leave

Up to 40% of the medical leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.248% of eligible wages). Employers are responsible for contributing the remaining 60% (0.372% of eligible wages). 

Additional Resources

Contribution rate split for employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals

Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals must remit an effective contribution rate of 0.378% of eligible wages. This contribution rate is less because small employers are not required to pay the employer share of the medical leave contribution, reducing the total contribution amount.

Small employers are responsible for remitting the funds withheld from covered individuals' earnings but are under no obligation to contribute themselves. However, they may elect to cover some or all of the covered individuals' share.

Breakdown of how the total contribution (.75%) is split among medical leave contribution (.62%) and family leave contribution (.13%).

Family leave

Up to 100% of the family leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.13% of eligible wages).

Medical leave

Up to 100% of the medical leave contribution can be withheld from a covered individual's wages (0.248% of eligible wages). There is no employer share for employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals.

Additional Resources

Contact

Phone

DFML hours of operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., DOR hours of operation: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Date published: January 23, 2019
Last updated: July 11, 2019
Feedback