Employer Responsibilities for NY Paid Family Leave
Given the release of the final regulations for NY Paid Family Leave (PFL), and the optional deduction period starting on July 1, 2017, there’s been an uptick in chatter about the new benefit. New regulations mean new policies, admin responsibilities, and reporting requirements…and new stress.
The number one question from employers: “What do I have to do?”
In talking with various legal counsel and reading up on the regulations, the honest answer at present is, “We don’t fully know.” However, there appear to be a few concrete responsibilities that are falling on employers, especially those with self-insured disability insurance. Here’s what we’re finding so far.
- Employers appear to be responsible for identifying who is eligible for the benefit.
- Employers will have to communicate the benefit to employees.
- Employers will have to track waivers for employees that are not eligible for the benefit, and identify if they become eligible.
- Employers may have to track the employee usage and entitlement balances for NY PFL. Right now, it’s unclear for fully-insured groups if the entitlement tracking will be the responsibility of the disability insurance carrier or the employer. Self-insured groups, on the other hand, are going to be tracking the leave internally.
Some veteran legal counsel shared that given the volatile political nature of the regulation some carriers are hesitant to build the tracking technology for NY PFL (in the hopes that it goes away). The level of service and tracking required of carriers is unregulated, aside from the quarterly and annual reporting requirements (see below), so depending on the carrier with whom the employer is insured, employers may have to perform some, none, or total tracking of the benefit entitlement.
- There are quarterly reporting requirements for self-insured employers. Per Section 363.8 of the regulation, self-insured employers “shall electronically submit the following data to the superintendent, in a manner prescribed by the superintendent:
- Identification of the group number, if applicable;
- Zip code of employer’s location;
- Employer’ SIC industry code;
- The group size as referenced in 363.5 (g)(1)
- Small Group: Employer with 1-49 employees
- Medium Group: Employer with 50-499 employees
- Large Group: Employer with 500+ employees
- Total earned premiums received for family leave benefits by the issuer or the total employee contributions received by the self-funded employer
- Total amount of benefits paid for:
- Family care
- Qualifying exigent circumstances
- Whether the employer provides any additional or enhanced family leave benefits beyond those specified in Workers’ Compensation Law section 204(2), and if so, a description of the additional or enhanced benefits.
There are additional employee/case specific data tracking requirements outlined in Section 363.8 (2), electronic reporting requirements listed in 363.8(3), and timeline for reporting in 363.8(5-6)
So, what do you do now?
NY PFL tax collection becomes mandatory for private sector employers on January 1, 2018, and qualified employees will be able to start requesting their leave at that time. Now is the time to begin educating employees on the benefit, building your company policies, and identifying your administrative solutions so as not to get buried in spreadsheets.
To learn more about Benetech’s Leave of Absence Management technology, please click the link below for more information and a free product demo.