Stephanie Haber

Employer Checklist for Paid Family Leave

October 23, 2017

How ready are you for PFL? Use our Employer Checklist to gear up for PFL before it’s too late!
We’re entering the homestretch for Paid Family Leave! Are you still in the midst of preparations? Or have you been procrastinating getting started? Waiting won’t make PFL go away. Yes, PFL is required by NY State, so unless you fall into one of these categories <link to blog post>, there’s no way around it. Just face it head on with our handy employer checklist!

Take our fast and fun checklist quiz to get your very own PFL readiness score and download a printable copy of the checklist.

 

Or keep reading for more details each of the to-do’s first:

  1. Decide what to do with (early) payroll deductions (withholdings).
    Well, if you haven’t decided yet, you may just wait until January to start deductions. Keep in mind:  Several payroll vendors started default deductions effective 07/01. If you’re not sure, double check. Paid Family Leave premiums need to be paid together with DBL premiums. If you pay your DBL (and thereby PFL) annually in advance, it may make sense to start withholding early from a cash flow perspective.

    But if you pay quarterly in arrears, you may be collecting too much.

    And you cannot collect more than the allowable maximum contribution for PFL through payroll deductions – if you do, you must return the excess amount to the affected employees. If this applies to you, discuss with your payroll vendor.

    Learn more about deductions here

     
  2. Look into payroll tracking/administration solutions.
    Since the PFL rate/contribution is based on your employees’ wage/salary, this may add to the complexity of your current payroll tracking/administration. Time is getting short to look through your bookkeeping software, or discuss with your accountant. 

     
  3. Create written guidance about PFL.

You must add PFL to your written guidelines for employees concerning employee benefits or leave rights, such as in an employee handbook.

  • Got an employee handbook?
    Add PFL to your benefits section informing employees of all of their rights and obligations under PFL, including information on how to file a claim.
  • Don’t have any written employee guidelines?
    If you don’t have written policies, manuals, or handbooks describing employee benefits and leave provisions, you still have to create written guidance to each of your employees concerning all of their rights and obligations under PFL, including information on how to file a claim.
     
  1. Display and keep posted a printed notice in our common area.
    Just like with DBL, you will have to display and keep posted a printed notice concerning PFL as published by New York State later this year. Stay tuned, we’ll let you know when it’s available.
     
  2. See if I can expect any of my employees to be out on January 1, 2018.
    All your employees who are currently covered under DBL will be covered under – and thereby have the right to take – PFL effective 01/01/2018. Your employees will need to give you 30 days’ notice for foreseeable leave. So you should know soon.
    Food for thought: Any new dads in your company? They’re eligible too!

     
  3. Plan to avoid staffing gaps.
    • Look for temp agencies.
    • Cross-train my teams.

The sooner you start exploring all your options and planning for them, the more flexibility you’ll have to provide business continuity when employees begin to take paid leave. Keep in mind that building cross-trained teams may take a while.

Food for thought: Do you have procedural manuals for training in place or do you still need to create them.
 

  1. Study up on PFL do’s and don’ts.
    PFL brings a whole new world of things to know and keep track of. Download our ABCs of PFL for all things PFL.

     
  2. Got 50+ employees? Review your current FMLA policies.
    If your business has at least 50 employees, and you are therefore subject to FMLA, you will need to coordinate PFL and FMLA. Review especially the section of your FMLA guidelines regulating how available FMLA leave is calculated at your company to evaluate if you want to change your company-wide practice. There are 4 different ways employers are allowed to choose from under FMLA, which impacts how both benefits get coordinated.

    See our PFL-FMLA comparison for details.

 

  1. Review your company’s paid time off/leave policies.
    Do you provide paid maternity leave or similar paid leave benefits to your employees? Review these policies with your HR/legal counsel to determine how PFL impacts them and if changes are needed.

PFLExpert Tip:
Providing paid leave on a company basis, does not void your business from providing PFL if you’re a Covered Employer under DBL.

 

  1. Review your group’s current income replacement insurance policies.
    If you provide additional short-term disability insurance (other than DBL) or similar coverages, review the section regarding benefit offset to identify any potential for “double-dipping.”

 

  1. Educate and prepare your employees.
    This applies on multiple levels. While you should educate all your employees about this new benefit and their rights/responsibilities that come along with it, think of staff members who will be exposed to PFL on a professional level (like your payroll and HR manager): what training, knowledge, and tools will they need to do their jobs properly?

Download our educational PFL employee guide here.

 

 

Find out your very own PFL readiness scoreTake the quiz to download a printable checklist here.

 

 


This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal counsel. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal and compliance advice. Any PFL information is as of the blog post’s date stamp; it is based on the applicable statutes and regulation,  and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding Paid Family Leave regulations. Have more questions? Email us at pflquestions@shelterpoint.com

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