Washington employers get ready for state’s new paid family and medical leave program

Premium collections begin January 2019

Employers across Washington are getting ready for Washington’s new statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

Starting January 1, 2019, employers of every size will start collecting premiums to grow the new statewide insurance program so their employees can start using the benefit in 2020.

The new Paid Family and Medical Leave program will provide eligible employees across the state with up to 12 weeks of paid leave if they need time off to recover from a serious illness or injury, care for a new child or support an aging parent. It means workers won’t have to choose between a paycheck and caring for their health and their family.

Now is the time for employers to get ready.

Begin collecting Paid Family and Medical Leave premiums

Budget for the employer share of the premium, if required.

Begin tracking hours and wages of all employees, including seasonal, temporary and part-time workers

The program has resources to help businesses prepare:

* Employer Toolkit: Employers can download the program’s Employer Toolkit to learn how to prepare for this new program. It also provides resources to help employers inform their employees about what to expect.

* Small Business Grants: Grants are available for small businesses to help cover the costs of hiring temporary employees when a member of your team uses Paid Family and Medical Leave. To be eligible for these grants, your business must average 150 or fewer employees. Businesses that average fewer than 50 employees must pay the employer portion of premiums to be eligible.

* Get Ready Now: Now is the time for employers to get ready. Learn how at paidleave.wa.gov/employers.

– Employment Security Department (ESD)

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