All Washington employers must provide paid family and medical leave under a bill signed by Gov. Jay Inslee on July 5.
The new law creates an insurance fund that employers and employees both pay into, with a 0.4 percent payroll tax. Payroll deductions will begin on Jan. 1, 2019, and benefits will become available to employees on Jan. 1, 2020. https://www.paidleave.wa.gov/
Washington joins a handful of other states (California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York) to have enacted a paid-family-leave law.
This statewide insurance plan requires employers to report employee wages, hours worked, and additional information every quarter.
Premiums are 0.4% of gross wages paid.
Premium collection begins in 2019 and claims for leave benefits start in 2020.
Workers can take leave for qualified events for up to 12 weeks generally, and up to 18 weeks under exceptional circumstances.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium but are required to collect and remit the employee portion of the premium and abide by all reporting requirements.
Small business assistance grants are available to businesses with 50-150 employees, and businesses with fewer than 50 employees who have opted-in to the employer share of the premium.
Voluntary plans are available to employers who want to manage a plan internally that meets or exceeds the state plan’s requirements.
Download the Employer Tool Kit from ESD. This will give you the employee paystub insert. https://paidleave.wa.gov/employers
Confused? This shared benefit will bring peace of mind and increased wellbeing for many of our citizens here in Washington State beginning in 2020—but starting something big, new, and aspirational is often hard. We are happy to help! Call Clarity with you questions, for assistance setting up the payroll deduction, and for help with creating your plan for reporting to Washington ESD. (360) 385-9963.