Employers with fewer than 500 employees were subject to the FFCRA emergency paid leave provisions from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.  This provided employees with up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) for 5 Covid-related reasons, and up to 12 weeks of emergency family and medical leave (EFML) when school or child care was unavailable due to COVID-19.  If the employer was not in the public sector, they could claim 100% tax credit for wages and benefits paid for such leaves.

These employers now have an option to remain eligible for the 100% tax credits if they voluntarily extend FFCRA paid leave provisions through March 31, 2021.  The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSAA) doesn’t provide employees with a new 80 hours of EPSL or new 12 weeks of EFML January 1, but for those employees who had not exhausted their EPSL or EFML by December 31, an employer can voluntarily decide to keep those remaining hours/weeks available through March 31, 2021, and claim the 100% tax credit for wages and benefits paid during such leaves just as before.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has added new FAQ #104 to explain this new option to employees.

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.

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