Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Enacted in 2018, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (MA PFML) allows employees to take paid leave to care for themselves or their family members under certain circumstances. Contributions from employers and employees to fund the program began on October 1, 2019, with most benefits becoming available by January 2021. Employers have the option of participating in the state plan or offering an approved private plan of their own.

State Disability and PFML Coverage at a Glance Learn more about Unum’s State Disability and PFML Coverage.

Solutions for MA PFML

It is important to recognize that a fully insured Unum Short Term Disability (STD) plan does not directly replace the Massachusetts state PFML program. Your Unum STD plan provides coverage above the state program and will offset for benefits employees receive under the program.

Your options for Massachusetts employees:

  • Enroll in the state plan only.
  • Enroll in the state plan and maintain your Unum STD coverage (benefits will be offset by the state plan).
  • Enroll in Unum’s Fully Insured Paid Leave MA plan (replaces the state plan).
  • Enroll in Unum’s Fully Insured Paid Leave MA plan to replace the state plan and maintain your current STD plan (benefits will be offset by Paid Leave MA).*

Self-funded plans administered by Unum

  • Enroll your Massachusetts employees in the state plan and maintain your self-funded STD plan, which is administered by Unum.
  • File your self-funded plan with Massachusetts, which will be administered by Unum. Benefits under this plan must meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave program. You will also be required to remit a surety bond to the state. Additional information about the bond requirements can be found here.
  • Enroll in the state plan only.

Unum - supplying answers and solutions

For employers who choose a private-plan option, Unum will offer fully insured and offset* solutions for Paid Medical Leave and Paid Family Leave. We will also offer administration for self-insured private plans.

While we develop our plan designs, we will continue to evaluate the evolving Massachusetts regulations to ensure our plans comply. We will also continue to closely track Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation nationwide, so we can provide employers with essential updates and information.

Please contact your broker or Unum representative to learn more about your options and for assistance calculating your company’s MA PFML program costs.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave FAQs

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Webinar

Listen to our recorded webinar to learn about the law's key provisions, administrative and claim requirements and how the law interacts with other leave laws. By the end, you'll understand what the law means for you as an employer and be ready to take the steps you need to comply.

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

See how changing state laws will impact your business.

Unum Leave and Absence Management Services

Protect your company and take care of your employees.

Timeline:

 = Employer action

Now  Employers should already be hanging the PFML workplace poster in their workplaces  Download the poster here.

Now  If they have not already done so, employers should decide whether to go with the state plan offer a private plan. Note* If employers have not already done so, they should decide whether to go with the state plan or offer a private plan. Note: If an employer has not filed for and been accepted for an exemption through MA, they will owe contributions from 10/01/2019 forward. Exemptions go into effect the first day of the quarter following their approval.

7/1/21 Benefits available to care for a family member with a serious health condition

1/31/21 Contributions/reporting is due the last day of the month following a calendar quarter’s close.

1/1/21 Benefits available for welcoming a new child, personal medical leave, and specific events related to a family member's active-duty military service

10/31/20 Contributions/reporting is due the last day of the month following a calendar quarter’s close.

7/31/20 Contributions/reporting is due the last day of the month following a calendar quarter’s close.

4/30/20 Deadline for employers to remit quarterly contributions

1/31/20 The first MA Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) deadline for employers to remit quarterly contributions (for 10/1/2019 - 12/31/2019) was January 31, 2020

12/20/19 Employer private plan exemption applications for first-quarter contributions due

10/1/19 Payroll withholdings began for program contributions, for employers who choose to go with the state program

9/30/19 Deadline to have given written notice to employees of the law and program, and received a signed acknowledgement from employees of that notice

7/1/19 Finalized regulations published

* Offset-plan benefits will be offset by the amount received under the state program.