Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)



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FFCRA or the Families First Coronavirus Response Act came into law on the 18th of March, 2020. It required certain employers to provide sick pay to employees who qualified under the terms of FFCRA, up to and until January 1st, 2021.

However, employers may on a voluntary basis provide sick pay to qualifying employees, up to and until March 31st, 2021.

Sounds confusing right? Well, that’s why we’ve put together this handy guide.

What Is the FFCRA?

FFCRA applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses—i.e., those with under 50 employees—may be exempt from FFCRA regulations if they can demonstrate that the rigors of the act could jeopardize their business.

The core goal of the act is to ensure employees have access to paid sick and family leave, medical leave, COVID-19 testing, unemployment benefits, and child nutrition waivers.

Employee paid leave only applies to employees employed for thirty or more days or more. Employers are liable to provide an employee’s daily rate up to and until $511 per day.

Qualifying Reasons for Leave

An employee qualifies for paid sick leave if they are unable to attend work, including telework, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This can be for a variety of reasons, and employees don’t necessarily have to be sick to be eligible.

For example, an employee who is subject to a federal or local lockdown order or who has been advised by a healthcare professional to self-quarantine or who has been exposed and/or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms would qualify for paid leave under the act.

What’s more, if an individual is caring for a child whose caregiver or school can no longer accommodate them for any reason associated with COVID-19, they qualify for employee paid leave.

FFCRA regulations are principally designed to ensure that employees in small- to medium-size companies or organizations are protected in the event of illness or restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Are Employers Required to Provide?

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Employers have obligations to provide FFCRA paid leave in the form of coverage for eligible employees.

This includes two weeks or 80 hours of paid sick leave at the rate of pay for employees who are experiencing enforced lockdowns or who are experiencing symptoms or are seeking a COVID-19 diagnosis from a healthcare professional.

If an employee is unable to work due to caring for a child or who has a need to take time off due to COVID-19, employers should pay two-thirds of the employees’ rate of pay.

Ten weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds of the employees’ regular rate of pay should be provided for those who:

  • Have been employed for at least 30 days
  • Are unable to work due to the need to care for a child
  • Have a legitimate reason to not attend work

The global pandemic and the new regulations that come with it have presented new challenges for healthcare management, but a customized HR software solution can shoulder much of the burden. Contact SNF Payroll today at 844-200-1870 to learn more.