The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, made changes to the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act’s (FFCRA) time off provisions. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees may choose to provide leave to employees for qualifying reasons.

Here’s the 411 for your company:

Must I participate in FFCRA? No. The FFCRA is voluntary and runs through September 30, 2021, so you don’t have to provide the additional leave for employees if you don’t want to. However, even though FFCRA is optional, New York State requires all employers to provide COVID-19 paid sick leave under its separate program.

Does my business still get tax credits? Yes, the employer tax credit still exists! The maximum tax credit per employee is now $200 per day and was increased to $12,000 total per employee if used for family leave purposes. Employers may claim family leave payroll tax credits for any leave used for quarantining or isolating or caring for someone who is isolating or quarantining.

Did the qualifying reasons change? Yes- and this is a big one! Employees also may take FFCRA leave (1) to receive the CV19 vaccine and (2) for complications or reactions from receiving the vaccine. The prior qualifying reasons still remain, too.

What if an employee already used FFCRA leave? The American Rescue Plan reset an employee’s leave bank to allow 10 new FFCRA days beginning April 1, 2021. An employee’s family leave under the FFCRA also resets on April 1, 2021.

Guidance on the American Rescue Plan and COVID-19 relief is continuing to evolve. The Coppola Firm is here to keep you updated on the latest news and any changes that may affect your business. Reach out to us if you have additional questions.