Washington is soon to be the fifth state to offer paid family and medical leave benefits. All workers will no longer have to choose between caring for their loved ones and making ends meet. They can dedicate their time away from work to be the best caretaker they can be. In return employers have access to an inexpensive benefit, save on payroll costs while the worker is on leave, and reduced employee turnover costs.
Workers can begin taking leave in 2020, but next year employers will have some actions to take.
First, employers need to withhold premiums from paychecks starting with the first check in 2019. These premiums are split between employers and workers. Workers foot most of the bill, but employers with 50 or more employees have a portion to pay also. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees don’t have to pay premiums but are still responsible for collecting and remitting the workers share.) Premiums are paid to the Employment Security Department by employers quarterly, starting in 2019. Learn more about premiums on the Premiums page.
Second, all employers will report wages, hours worked, and more. This reporting will be done at the end of each calendar quarter. The first reports will be in April 2019. These reports will be done through a website that is under development. We will share more about what needs to be reported on the Reporting page when it is available.
Do you have a similar plan you already like? You can turn that plan into a Voluntary Plan. Applications for Voluntary Plans start in August of this year. You can learn more on the Voluntary Plan page.
Want to learn more? Check out the Employment Security Department’s website. Content will be updated throughout 2018 as this new program grows. You can sign up for a free webinar, learn more about small business considerations, and more.