Employees have been able to apply for MA Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) since January 1st of this year. They’ve been able to take Massachusetts PFML for a few reasons:
- The birth or adoption of a child
- Medical leave due to their own serious health condition
- To care for a family member with a serious health condition that relates to military service.
Employers should note that starting on July 1st, their staff will also be able to take MA PFML for one more reason: to care for a family member with a serious health condition. Below is a refresher from MP’s HR services team on how MA PFML works and how to ensure they maintain HR compliance with this relatively new program.
How Should Employers Prepare for MA PFML:
Employers should ensure they have employee policies in their company handbook regarding MA PFML. These policies should detail out who employees need to notify that they will be applying for MA PFML. They should also state that the employee is protected from discrimination, harassment, and adverse employment action if they choose to apply for or take MA PFML. A policy could also list out all the reasons why employees can take MA PFML. If the policy is written prior to July 1, 2021, then it should be noted that the benefit can’t be used to take care of family member with a serious health condition until after July 1. HR providers like MP suggest that employers share these policies and add a form for an acknowledgement signature. The acknowledgements should be kept on file.
6 Steps to Apply for MA PFML Benefits:
Employees (not employers) are responsible for the application for PFML benefits. These are the 6 steps for application:
- Upload documents that prove identity
- Select the applicable leave details: the type of leave, dates, and whether they’re requesting a full or intermittent leave.
- Upload documents to verify the reason for the leave request. Different documents will be required depending on the kind of leave requested. An example: applicants for medical leave need a certificate from the doctor confirming a serious health condition. Another example: Bonding leave applicants will be required to supply a birth certificate or adoption paperwork.
- Add employment information: Employees will need their employer EIN (Employer Identification Number) number, as well as proof that they have informed their employer about their upcoming application for MA PFML. Workers who are requesting leave from multiple employers will need to fill out a separate application for each one.
- Calculate any reductions in benefits. These are attributable to: leave taken in the last 12 months (like FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), sick, etc.), employee benefits received, and other sources of income the applicant has.
- Indicate preferred payment method: There are two choices, a direct deposit or a check mailed each pay period.
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