On January 1, 2023, a new law may provide the opportunity for many New Hampshire employees to receive partially paid family medical leave. This is a voluntary program for all employers and is called the “Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan”. The Plan would provide New Hampshire employees with 60% wage replacement for up to six (6) weeks each year for the following reasons:
- The birth of a child or caring for a newborn child for the first year.
- For newly adopted or fostered children within the first year.
- Care for an employee's spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
- Care for a spouse, child, or parent who is in the military.
- A personal serious health condition that is independent of employment, if the employer does not offer short-term disability insurance.
Since it is a voluntary program, it allows both individuals and employers to choose whether or not to participate in the program. It will be available to employers with greater than 50 employees (but all state employees are automatically enrolled).
This law requires insurance carriers that are awarded the state employee insurance contract to offer it to all employers, including private employers with 50 or more employees to opt into this plan. Employers who decide to opt in must take certain payroll deductions and certain employee job protections. These job protections include job reinstatement, protection against discrimination and retaliation, and continuation of benefits while on leave. Employers may decide to split the deduction with employees or pay the whole amount. There are certain tax credits available for employers that pay business enterprise tax and opt-into the Plan.
Individuals working for employers that choose not to participate in the program, or have equivalent programs, may also opt into the Plan. Employers with more than 50 employees will be required to provide job protected leave under this Plan. While the law went into effect on July 1st, the provision of coverage date is not until January 1, 20223.
The state will likely issue regulations in the coming year that will provide additional details. For more information or if you have any questions– please contact Pomeroy Law P.C. at 978-358-7550