Private plan benefit requirements for PFML exemptions

To be eligible for an exemption from making Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) contributions, you must offer an approved private plan with paid leave benefits that are equal to or more generous than those provided under the PFML program. We recommend reviewing these requirements before applying for an exemption.

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General overview

If you 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 Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Exemption applications can be submitted through the Department of Revenue's MassTaxConnect.

The benefits offered to your covered individuals by your approved plan must be greater than or equal to the benefits provided by the PFML law to be granted an exemption. This means your approved plan must meet all the minimum requirements listed below and must not cost your covered individuals any more than they would be required to contribute to the state plan under the PFML law.

Benefits offered under your approved private plan don't need to begin until January 2021.

Minimum family leave benefit requirements

To qualify for an exemption from family leave contributions, your private plan must provide the following to all covered individuals:

  • All covered individuals (full-time, part-time, permanent, or seasonal) are eligible for family leave benefits
  • A weekly paid benefit amount that is greater than or equal to the benefit provided by the PFML program administered by DFML
  • A minimum of 26 weeks of paid leave during the benefit year to provide care to a family member, as defined by PFML, with a serious health condition suffered while on active duty in the armed forces
  • A minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave during the benefit year if their spouse, child, or parent is a current member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard and reserves) and is on covered active duty or notified of an impending call or order to covered active duty
  • A minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave during the benefit year to provide care to a family member, as defined by PFML, with a serious health condition
  • A minimum of 12 weeks of paid leave during the benefit year to bond with a child during the first 12 months after a child’s birth, or the first 12 months after adoption or foster placement of a child under the age of 18
  • Job protection while the covered individual is on qualified leave
  • Continued employer contributions to employment-related health insurance benefits, if any, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the covered individual had continued working continuously for the duration of qualified leave
  • Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule, with the weekly benefit amount being prorated
  • Your plan specifically states that all presumptions shall be made in favor of the availability of leave and the payment of leave benefits

Minimum medical leave benefit requirements

To qualify for an exemption from medical leave contributions, your private plan must provide the following to all covered individuals:

  • All covered individuals (full-time, part-time, permanent, or seasonal) are eligible for medical leave benefits
  • A minimum of 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if a covered individual is unable to work due to a serious health condition
  • A weekly paid benefit amount that is greater than or equal to the benefit provided by the PFML program administered by DFML
  • Job protection while the covered individual is on qualified leave
  • Continued employer contributions to employment-related health insurance benefits, if any, at the level and under the conditions coverage would have been provided if the covered individual had continued working continuously for the duration of qualified leave
  • Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule if medically necessary, with the weekly benefit amount being prorated
  • Your plan specifically states that all presumptions shall be made in favor of the availability of leave and the payment of leave benefits

Contact

Phone

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

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