New Changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

New Changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

01/8/2021 Tags: Announcements, In the News, COVID-19

The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act made some changes to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Under the original act, businesses had to provide paid leave from April 1, 2020, until Dec. 31, 2020. Paid leave had to be for COVID-19-related reasons, and the limits of the act included:

  • 80 hours of paid sick leave and
  • Up to 10 weeks if an employee’s child’s childcare or school was closed.

There were other limits related to full vs. two-thirds pay, and you can see those in this PDF.

The Consolidated Act allows an employer to voluntarily continue to pay this leave and receive credits for the amount through March 31, 2021.

So, the new act doesn’t require businesses to provide pay leave, and it didn’t extend the paid leave maximums. In that way, if a business decides to deny paid leave for COVID-19 reasons, the Department of Labor won’t enforce FFCA after Jan. 1, 2021. However, if a business decides to continue to offer paid sick leave, it can still claim the credits as before until the end of March.

Here’s our current advice to businesses that voluntarily continue with FFCRA paid sick leave: Decide if you’ll do an extra payroll on or before March 31, 2021, to pay out final wages, or if you’ll stop allowing employees to take leave at the last payroll that will still pay in March.

REMINDER: If your business paid out FFCRA leave in 2020, that information must be on the 2020 W2 in Box 14, broken out between the three allowable leave types.

If you have questions about other Consolidated Appropriations Act changes or your payroll, please reach out to us.

This communication is intended to provide general information on legislative COVID-19 relief measures as of the date of this communication and may reference information from reputable sources. Although our firm has made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information provided is accurate, we make no warranties, expressed or implied, on the information provided. As legislative efforts are still ongoing, we expect that there may be additional guidance and clarification from regulators that may modify some of the provisions in this communication. Some of those modifications may be significant. As such, be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed.

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