Sick leave credits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act are an important tool in employers’ toolkits
With the wave of announcements over the last few weeks that school will be largely conducted online due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus, a collective cry of despair went out from many working parents. What seemed like a moderate burden that we could all be good sports about and get through in the spring now feels like an impossible burden for the fall and, god forbid, winter. Working parents are distraught and employers are seriously wondering how they can help their staff through this, both from a scheduling and financial perspective. This post brings FFCRA Sick Leave credits back into the spotlight. These credits are an important tool that employers have in order to offset the cost of this renewed burden on their workforce.
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) provides sick leave that is specific to COVID-19. In particular, an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s pay. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed, or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19 may also, in some instances, receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s pay.
FFCRA provides important monetary relief to employers for providing the sick and emergency leave mandated by the Act. Relief is provided through offsetting credits to the business’ payroll taxes for the amount sick leave wages paid.
Families all across America, many with two working parents, are going to be coordinating work schedules and leave calendars this fall in an effort to help care for or attend to their kids who won’t be at school during the day. Employers will need to be attuned to this and use all the tools they have at their disposal to make it work. FFCRA leave credits are an important part of making the numbers work financially for businesses.
The COVID-19 crisis is far from over. Successful businesses – ones that survive this massive disruption to normal work and societal patterns – will adapt and utilize all the tools they have at their disposal. FFCRA sick leave credits are an important part of that toolset.