Timeline of Paid Family and Medical Leave contributions and benefits

Learn about the key dates in the rollout of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Find out when regulations will be available for review, when contribution collections begin, and when benefits will be available to employees and other covered individuals.

Table of Contents

Overall timeline

A timeline showing key dates in the PFML roll out. On Oct. 1, 2019, premium collections began. By Dec. 20, 2019, application deadline for first quarter exemptions due. By January 1, 2021, most benefits will become available to employees. By July 1, 2021, all benefits will be available.

Draft regulations available (Jan. 23, 2019)

  • Draft DFML Regulations regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave law were made available to review

Additional Resources

Regulations published for public comment and hearing (March 29, 2019)

  • Regulations for collecting contributions and processing benefits were published

Approved plan applications available to employers (April 29, 2019)

  • Employers already providing paid leave benefits to their workforce may be eligible to receive an exemption from collecting, remitting, and paying PFML contributions by submitting an approved plan application
  • The benefits offered to your employees by your approved plan must be greater than or equal to the benefits provided by the PFML law to be granted an exemption
  • Approved plan applications may be filed annually through MassTaxConnect

Additional Resources

Final regulations promulgated (July 1, 2019)

  • Finalized PFML regulations went into effect

Additional Resources

Payroll withholdings begin (Oct. 1, 2019)

  • Employers began withholding contributions from wages and payments made to covered individuals
    • Employers began withholding contributions on behalf of MA W-2 employees and, in some instances, MA 1099-MISC contractors that make up a significant part of their workforce 
    • Employers with fewer than 25 covered individuals are not required to pay the employer’s contribution, but still need to remit payment to DFML
  • Self-employed individuals may elect coverage

These withholdings began with the first payment made on or after Oct. 1, 2019.

Additional Resources

Approved plan applications were due for first quarter of contributions on Dec. 20, 2019

  • Employers seeking an exemption from the first quarter of required contributions must have submitted their approved plan application by Dec. 20, 2019
  • Following this deadline, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and take effect the quarter following approval. So, an exemption approved in January 2020 will take effect in April 2020.

Additional Resources

Contributions due Quarterly starting Jan. 1, 2020

  • Employers file their return and remit contributions through their MassTaxConnect account for the previous calendar quarter
  • Self-employed individuals who have elected coverage pay the full contribution rate for the previous calendar quarter

Additional Resources

Most benefits available (Jan. 1, 2021)

  • Paid family leave benefits will be available for bonding with a new child and for managing family affairs when a family member is on active duty in the armed forces
  • Paid medical leave benefits will be available for serious personal health conditions

All benefits available (July 1, 2021)

  • Paid family leave benefits will be available for the care of a family member with a serious health condition