The President announced he “is calling on every employer in America to offer full pay to their employees for any time off needed to get vaccinated and for any time it takes to recover from the after-effects of vaccination.” He’s asking employers to commit here to telling the federal government how you’ll help get America vaccinated and encourages employers to use new “We Can Do This” promotional materials developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to dispel vaccine hesitancy.
The Treasury Department has posted a flyer and a reminder that the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a way for employers with fewer than 500 employees (including most governmental employers) to claim a 100% tax credit worth more than $17,000 per employee for voluntarily honoring certain paid leaves under new ARPA rules, which include paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine. The IRS has posted a page dedicated to understanding the tax credit and caps.
The newest IRS information does not make it clear whether an employer could extend just 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) without the 12 weeks of emergency family and medical leave (EFML). In fact, while the emphasis is on paying time off to get vaccinated and recover, all the materials above seem to suggest the employer going all-in on voluntarily honoring all the reasons for taking both EPSL and EFML for up to 14 weeks.
IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.
This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.