New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave
What is the Update?
The New Hampshire Paid Family and Medical Leave program (NH PFML), formerly referred to as the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan, has clarified some key information.
The NH PFML program is administered by a third-party insurance company, MetLife. As a reminder, employers with 50 or more employees (across the US) may voluntarily opt into the NH PFML program. If they do, they will be required to provide employees with 6 weeks of paid family leave benefits. The state has been very unclear concerning whether the law is job protected or not. However, based on recent advice from the state, this law is primarily an insurance law and does not have job protection or group health insurance continuation, unless employees are also covered under FMLA. NH PFML will run concurrently with FMLA when an employee is covered under both laws.
MetLife will administer the employee’s NH PFML benefits. Employers may also provide equivalent benefit coverage (see the FAQs here for details). Employers have the option for their provided program to have no elimination period, or a 7-day waiting period in order for covered employees to receive pay under NH PFML. Employees may take leave for their own serious health condition (including pregnancy and organ/tissue donation), family care leave, bonding with a new child, qualifying military exigencies, and leave to care for a service member with a serious injury or illness. Leave for an employee’s own serious health condition is only available if the employee’s injury or illness is not work-related and the employee is not in receipt of STD benefits, as STD and NH PMFL cannot be taken concurrently. Additionally, leave benefits can be taken all at once (continuous) or in partial days (intermittent) with a minimum of 4-hour increments.
As a reminder, if employers do not opt into the program, employees themselves may opt into the program, as individual participants. Employers (with 50 or more employees), or individual employees, will be eligible for NH PFML benefits so long as the employer has a physical location in the state of New Hampshire and they have opted into the program. For example, if you only have remote employees in NH and don’t have a physical office there, neither you, nor your employees, can enroll in the NH PFML program. In situations where either the employer, or individual employees opt into the program, employers are responsible for taking contributions and remitting them to the program. Employers do not have to pay for the employee’s contribution if the employee opts in as an individual. If the employer opts into NH PFML, then it is the employer’s choice as to whether they will pay the full cost of the contributions on behalf of the employee, have the employee cover the full cost, or share the cost with the employee. Employers who choose to participate in the NH PFML are generally eligible to receive a 50% tax credit for any employer share of the premium they are contributing (if providing their program through MetLife). Employers will need to complete and submit their most recent Schedule of Business Profits Tax (BPT) Credit (form DP-160) to the NH Department of Revenue Administration to claim the NH business tax credit. The contribution rate is assessed individually for each employer who opts into the program and will be determined on a company-by-company basis.
NH PFML begins January 1, 2023. Employers with brokers may now be able to request a quote with MetLife (1-866-595-7365). Brokers will work directly with the MetLife to initiate the quoting process. Additionally, beginning December 1, 2022, employers who do not currently have a broker will be able to request a quote and enroll in the plan. At that time, information about how to enroll will be available on the NH PFML website. You can find both MetLife and New Hampshire’s website in the below “Resources” section. We’ve also included a link to the employer and broker webinars. An employer toolkit should soon be made available by the state, which will include: information on how to file, where to direct employees with questions, and information on enrollment.
- Employers may also offer a 12-week NH PFML program (as opposed to 6 weeks), if they wish.
- If an individual employee enrolls in the program, there is a 7-month waiting period until individuals can access NH PFML benefits. There is no waiting period for the employer opt in process.
- If an NH worker enrolls in an individual plan, a MetLife representative will contact the employer to confirm eligibility and inform them of the employee’s application and enrollment.
- If employers opt into the program and decide to pass some or all of the premium cost to employees, then employees may opt out of the program (see the Employer FAQs under “”MetLife Marketing Materials””). There will be an annual open enrollment period for the program. New hires may enroll within 30 days of hire.
- If employers opt into NH PFML, employer policy will dictate how employees may use PTO and salary continuation with PFML benefits. Employers may also require employees to use all their PTO before taking PFML.
- In the event that an employee individually opts into NH PFML, employees must use all their PTO before receiving PFML benefits. However, employees must be allowed to retain one week of PTO.
Closing Thoughts: We are not expecting many employers/employees to utilize this program, because most of our clients already provide pay for some or all of the leave types offered under NH PFML. Further, NH PFML will not provide pay for medical leaves if an employee is in receipt of STD benefits at the same time. The requirement for employers/employers to have a physical presence in New Hampshire, also means that many employers will not be covered under the law. If you are a Larkin Company client, and you do choose to enroll in the NH PFML program, now or in the future, please let us know as soon as possible, so we can administer your leaves accordingly. If you have individual employees who opt into the program, please also inform Larkin.
We will continue to monitor any updates regarding this law and will keep our clients updated.
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