What you need to know about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
In response to the COVID-19 situation, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was passed. The act provides support to individuals and small businesses affected by COVID-19.
|Note: If you have any questions regarding the FFCRA, please contact your accountant or legal professional.|
If you have fewer than 500 employees, you’ll have access to three new provisions to help your business and your employees during this time. The law goes into effect on April 1, 2020 and expires on December 31, 2020. If you have fewer than 50 employees, you may be able to get a waiver exempting your business from these new requirements.
Update: With the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, employers can continue to voluntarily allow the use of FFCRA leave through September 30, 2021.
|Entering this paid leave time in QuickBooksSelect the product that you use to learn how to pay your employees effected by COVID-19: QuickBooks Online Payroll and Intuit Online PayrollQuickBooks Desktop Payroll|
What do I need to do about the Coronavirus Response Act?
Provide National Paid Sick Leave to your employees due to COVID-19
National Paid Sick Leave allows your employees to get paid sick leave for either of these two reasons:
- They’re sick and quarantined from COVID-19
- They’re taking care of a family member who is sick or impacted with COVID-19
When a full-time employee is impacted or sick from COVID-19 and quarantined, they can receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at 100% of pay over a two-week period. Part-time employees can receive an average amount of hours they’d work over a two-week period.
When a full-time or part-time employee needs to take care of someone who is sick or impacted with COVID-19, they can receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at 2/3 of the employee’s average rate of pay.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, the stipulations for taking paid leave may change. If the employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor, they use the paid leave.
Provide employees with public health emergency leave under the FMLA
Although the Family and Medical Leave Act traditionally has required employers to provide unpaid leave for qualifying circumstances, the Coronavirus Response Act amended the FMLA to add a paid-leave requirement related to COVID-19.
After 10 days of unpaid leave, a period of paid leave would follow for employees who need to care for children younger than 18 whose school or child-care facility is closed because of the virus or whose child-care provider is unavailable because of the outbreak.
This leave provision is available to all employees who have worked for you for at least 30 days regardless of the number of hours worked. Employees can elect to use another form of leave to cover the first 10 days of unpaid leave, including the new National Paid Sick leave, but are not required to do so.
Use a Federal tax credit to pay for the cost of providing leave to your employees
Once the law goes into effect, you can apply for these tax credits when you run payroll. By entering this leave time in your QuickBooks Online Payroll or QuickBooks Desktop Payroll, you’ll be able to immediately apply 100 percent of the qualified leave wages to reduce and/or receive a refund of your Federal Payroll Tax liability amount due. This includes any health care premiums you pay on behalf of your employees.
In the next few weeks, QuickBooks will be helping you apply these credits to your payroll to ensure you’re compliant and using these credits correctly.
Where can I find more information?
If you have any more questions about the act, check out:
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
- The IRS’s page on Coronavirus tax relief
Filed Under: Labor & Employment