The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

October 20, 2017

New York State Paid Family Leave Scheme

New York’s Paid Family Leave program was drafted with relieving the unexpected pressures of family life, in mind. More specifically, to help employees bond with a child, to provide care for a close relative with a serious health condition, or to help a family adjust after someone has been called to active military service.

Paid Family Leave is designed to be implemented incrementally, reaching its fullest effect in 2021. Beginning January 1st, 2018, the four-year rollout of the scheme will commence. With proper documentation and in adherence with eligibility clauses, employees may take up to eight weeks of employee-funded Paid Family Leave. It will be as follows:

Source: New York State Paid Family Leave

Employees are permitted to take the maximum benefit length in any consecutive 52-week period (constituting a year). The 52-week period begins on the first day the employee takes Paid Family Leave. Employees are guaranteed to be able to return to their job and continue their health insurance. If the employee contributes to the cost of health insurance, this payment is to continue whilst on Paid Family Leave. The program is to be covered under the disability policy all employers by law must carry. Payroll deductions should have started on July 1st, 2017 in order to fund the relevant premiums under the scheme.

Every full-time or part-time employee in the state of New York will be eligible for Paid Family Leave, in fact, participation in the scheme is compulsory, with some exceptions for public employees. Employees will be eligible for Paid Family Leave after 26 weeks of employment if they work a regular 20-hour week schedule or more. Employees with a regular schedule of a less than 20-hour week will be eligible for the Paid Family Leave after 175 days worked.

It is not required that employees take all of their sick leave and/or vacation time before availing themselves of the program however, an employer may permit their staff to use sick or vacation leave for full pay, and not require the use of this leave.

Paid Family Leave begins after the birth of a child and is therefore not applicable to prenatal circumstances requiring leave. A parent may take Paid Family Leave during the first 12 months following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child.

Caring for a close relative with a serious health condition is eligible for Paid Family Leave for an employee provided the “close relative” is: their spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandchild.

A “serious health condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that requires: inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility, or the continuing treatment or supervision by a health care provider.

Paid Family Leave is also available to families eligible for time off under the military provisions in the federal Family Medical Leave Act. An employee is eligible if their spouse, child, domestic partner or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order of active duty. It however cannot be used for one’s own disability or qualifying military event.

For more information, click here.

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