Voluntary Paid Leave Extensions Under American Rescue Plan Act

Voluntary paid leave for employees and accompanying tax credits for employers, originally made available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), have been extended through September 30, 2021, by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

If you haven’t already, you need to decide whether or not your organization will continue offering paid COVID-related leave to employees. There are many factors that go into this decision, and our HR experts are here to help — watch the video below to learn more: 

Here are the highlights regarding these extensions:

  • Employees have access to an additional 80 hours of Extended Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
  • Tax credits for employers voluntarily offering paid leave are available to claim through September 30, 2021.
  • New leave reasons have been added to those provided for in the original FFCRA, including if an employee:
    • Is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for a medical diagnosis of COVID-19.
    • Has been exposed to COVID-19.
    • Has requested COVID-19 testing or diagnosis.
    • Is obtaining immunization related to COVID-19.
    • Is recovering from an injury, disability, illness, or condition related to such immunization after a public health emergency.
  • All Extended Family Leave is now paid for the full 12 weeks, and the maximum amount payable to employees has increased from $10,000 to $12,000.
  • Employees can continue to use this leave if they are caring for a child whose daycare or school is closed due to COVID. The leave can now be used for expanded reasons originally only offered through the EPSL portion of the act:
    • The employee is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order.
    • A health care provider advises the employee to quarantine or self-isolate.
    • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
    • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a government quarantine or self-isolation order or who has been advised to quarantine or self-isolate by a health care provider.
  • Nextep has established new pay codes for COVID leave effective April 1, 2021. Please reach out to your Nextep payroll expert to add the new codes to your account.

Finally, please note that certain states and locales may have mandatory COVID leave. Please reach out to your Nextep HR team for further information.

There’s a ton of information to unpack with these leave extensions, and it’s important to stay informed to make the right decisions for you and your business. If you have any questions or would like further guidance, your Nextep HR experts are here and ready to help. Reach out to us at hr@nextep.com or give us a call at 888.811.5150.

Also on Nextep

Storm season is here! Businesses need plans in place, not only for taking shelter during inclement weather but also for running business as usual. We’re sharing a few procedures and precautions to consider when storm season rolls around.  Shelter Your employees should know how to respond when emergencies happen during the workday. Learn more from […]
Read more
In a crisis, life can seem a little scary. It’s easy to lose sight of the good in the midst of trying times. That’s why mental health and taking care of yourself is never more important than when you face a crisis. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. You may be experiencing increased […]
Read more
The physical and mental well-being of your employees is essential. At Nextep, we’re doing what we can to ensure our employees are healthy and stay that way. Keeping up with your employees’ well-being can be challenging, so here are a few ways employers are promoting workplace wellness today. CREATING A CULTURE OF MENTAL WELLBEING Employees […]
Read more
If your employer participates in the federal government’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, you should know more about what that means.  The WOTC is a federal tax credit available to businesses that hire people from certain groups facing challenges gaining employment. This program incentivizes employers to promote job access to a diverse range of […]
Read more
As we arrive at the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S, there are still daily challenges facing employees and employers alike. The last year has been a whirlwind of info, from new legislation and safety protocols to vaccines. Through it all, Nextep has helped businesses navigate every challenge along the way.  One […]
Read more
Working toward a more equitable workplace where your employees feel safe, heard, and represented positively impacts your people and community. Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to help build a more equitable workplace.  DOWNLOAD GUIDE Recruiting A recent study found that a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential for applicants when […]
Read more
We’re following updates on the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available in the U.S. to help you make sense of the news! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its position relating to employer-mandated COVID-19 vaccines.  Watch our HR experts break down vaccine mandates in the workplace.  While employers can legally require the COVID-19 vaccine in the workplace, this […]
Read more
Mary Jane was a stand-out winner from the 2020 election On Nov. 3, 2020, voters in several states voted to “puff puff” pass measures to allow recreational marijuana or medicinal marijuana, leaving many employers in these states to navigate a gray area of legislation when it comes to company workplace drug policies.   There are now […]
Read more
At Nextep, we make life easier by using technology to empower employees with instant access to all of their employment-related needs in one place. The Nextep mobile app is the core element to our integrated platform and allows our partners to take full advantage of technology on the go.  Manage your info anytime, anywhere, on […]
Read more
Partnering with Nextep means we deliver HR where you are.  It’s about having access to the info you need to run your business — it’s also about supplying you and your people with top-notch employment services whenever and wherever you are in your employment journey. We guide you through workplace solutions, best practices, and compliance […]
Read more
We go above and beyond to keep our clients ahead of the game. Working to elevate the employment experience for our clients and their people is one of Nextep’s guiding principles, and we don’t take it lightly. At Nextep, we believe in answering the phone with a smile and delivering HR where you are every […]
Read more
Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees.   During the weekend, President Trump signed an executive order and three memoranda for COVID relief. This executive order bypassed Congress, so debates are underway on its constitutionality and whether it is indeed law. Until we receive definitive word on its […]
Read more

Download Our App