COVID Legislative UpdatesJan 14, 2021
- FFCRA expired Dec 31, 2020
- Reminder: No mandatory sick pay in UT
- In 2021
- Expansion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Extension of refundable employer payroll tax credit for paid sick and family leave through March 2021
FFCRA expiration: Dec 31, 2020
The paid-leave requirements of the FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020.* Employers no longer have an obligation to provide paid sick or emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to employees for absences related to the coronavirus. Moving forward into 2021, under the new stimulus bill, if employers choose to continue providing leave that meets the former FFCRA requirements voluntarily, the employer tax credits for providing such leave have been extended until March 31, 2021.
*EXPEDITION HR RECOMMENDED ACTION: Employers should advise employees as to their options for continued leave, paid or unpaid, as we head into 2021.
Reminder - No mandatory sick pay in UT: There is no Utah law requiring private employers to grant their employees sick leave, paid or unpaid. That said, it is still common practice for employers to offer some type of paid sick leave – and if sick leave is promised, an employer does have an obligation to grant it.
As we charge ahead into 2021: The President signed a bill to fund the government and provide economic relief in response to the pandemic, including an expansion of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The package also extends the refundable employer payroll tax credit for paid sick and family leave through March 2021.
PPP: The Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act provides an additional aid package. PPP funds are available to businesses owners, non-profits and independent contractors on a first-come-first-served basis starting Jan. 13 – and are likely offered through your current bank. Businesses that already received a PPP loan may be eligible to get a second one under the new terms! Click here to apply. Another PPP resource is here.
Employer credit for paid sick leave and family leave: Extends the payroll tax credit through March 2021.
Now that the FFCRA paid-leave provisions are expired, how should we handle coronavirus-related absences?
It goes without saying that the need for coronavirus-related employee absences continues on. To ensure employees are able to take time off from work when sick and/or when needed to care for a family member, employers will need to decide whether to continue providing “FFCRA-like” leave voluntarily. If they choose not to, they should then determine what other leave options are available for employees. Employers should avoid placing employees in a situation where they may feel forced to report to work when ill regardless, but especially related to COVID.
What tax credits are available for employers that offer coronavirus-related paid leave under the CAA?
An employer that continues to provide paid leave as previously required under the FFCRA can claim a tax credit (see here) for qualifying leave provided from January 1, 2021, through March 31, 2021. For an overview of FFCRA requirements for tax credit eligibility, see here
Other great resources:
Still Have Questions?
Book your free mini HR Assessment today with Expedition HR.
Don’t forget to grab the best selling book, Conquer Sticky Situations , written by the CEO of Expedition HR
Curious How to Work With Us?
Join the Guiding HR Subscription to receive comprehensive and affordable Human Resources Support. The subscription is ideal for for small businesses and non-profit organizations.
As a subscriber, you...
- Receive HR Director-level support in your business for a fraction of the cost to hire a full time HR employee
- Have the support and knowledge to handle difficult employee situations
- Know exactly what phrasing to use for tough conversations with your employees
- Have extra time in your day because you have immediate access to the right HR forms, checklists, and tools (no more Googling HR forms!)
- Have expert termination support when those needs arise
- Know how to clearly outline expectations for your employees - resulting in better performance and higher productivity
- Know which employment laws apply to your business and how to stay compliant
- Have peace of mind