What Businesses Need to Know about PFL 

We have a comprehensive library of PFL resources that are deep-dives on many PFL related topics.But, here are 10 quick facts you should know about NY’s Paid Family Leave.

  1. If you are required to provide DBL, you are required to provide PFL.
  2. Employees who are covered under DBL are covered (and can take) Paid Family Leave.
  3. Paid Family Leave benefits phase in over 4 years, with gradually increasing benefit amounts and duration, so make sure you stay on top of these changes.
  4. Employees need to provide 30 days’ notice for foreseeable leave.
  5. You must add PFL to your written guidance for employees concerning employee benefits & leave rights, such as in an employee handbook.
    PFL Expert Tip: Even if you don’t have written manuals now, you need to have written guidance on PFL, including information on how to file a claim. Get help here.
  6. Just like with DBL, you need to display and keep posted a printed notice concerning PFL as published by NY State. If you’re a ShelterPoint DBL Policyholder you can get yours here.
  7. PFL provides job security for employees out on paid leave, similar to unpaid leave with FMLA, but regardless of employer size.
  8. If you decline to reinstate an employee returning from PFL, the employee may report your business to NY State. You then have 30 days to either take corrective action or file a formal response to the employee.
  9. You cannot require employees to exhaust accumulated PTO before letting them go on PFL (unless it’s also a FMLA approved leave).
  10. You cannot take retroactive deductions, nor can you take more than the allowable contribution amount.
    PFL Expert Tip: To ensure you stay on top of deductions, make sure you work closely with your payroll manager or payroll company to avoid any issues.

PFL Rates & Withholdings

Paid Family Leave Rates

The Paid Family Leave rate is set by New York State and can be adjusted annually, effective every January 1. The 2018 rate was set by June 1, 2017, and thereafter, updated rates are set and announced by NY State by September 1 each year for the following calendar year.

The 2018 maximum contribution rate for Paid Family Leave is 0.126% of the employee’s annualized wages capped at the annualized New York State Average Weekly Wage (NYSAWW) of $67,907.84 per year;*  which means the maximum annual premium to be charged to an employee for Paid Family Leave is $85.56 per year.

As PFL is a rider to DBL, the premium gets billed together — and will need to be paid together. You must pay the premium for your entire group, whether you withhold from employees or not. Employers that take PFL contributions cannot take retroactive deductions, or collect more than the allowable maximum contribution for Paid Family Leave.

Estimate how much Paid Family Leave will cost your business now.

*NY Department of Labor releases the updated NYSAWW every March 31.

PFL Withholdings/Deductions

While Paid Family Leave is frequently referred to as an employee-funded benefit, businesses are not required to withhold from employees. If you decide to take deductions, you can’t take more than the employee’s maximum contribution (check out the ABCs of PFL for more details). The maximum contribution may change every year.

Read more on how these PFL withholdings are required to be structured.

Employers were able to take deductions as early as July 1, 2017, but you cannot take retroactive payroll deductions for Paid Family Leave. If an employee left your company before January 2018, you don’t have to refund any early PFL deductions taken. You must pay the premium for your entire group, whether you withhold from employees or not.

While you can choose to collect DBL and PFL employee contributions from an employee who is out on DBL or PFL, you cannot collect PFL contributions from an employee who is not yet eligible for PFL while that employee is out on DBL.

Learn more about PFL withholdings here.

Latest Resources

Why You Shouldn’t Submit Your PFL Claim Forms Before Your Leave

Stephanie Haber 0 2138 Article rating: No rating

PFL planning

It may be tempting to get all your paperwork for Paid Family Leave submitted early and out of the way, especially when preparing for a big, life changing event like the birth of a new baby.  But, there are some pretty important reasons why you shouldn’t submit your claims forms too early...


More NY Paid Family Leave Resources


ShelterPoint will keep you in-the-know on the latest news, regulations, and updates as Paid Family Leave continues to roll out between now and 2021. We have the tools, information, and tips to keep you compliant with all the changes to Paid Family Leave. 

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