How Does Family Leave Insurance in New Jersey Compare to NY PFL?
If you’re a New Jersey business owner, there’s a good chance you’re competing with businesses across the Tri-State area, including neighboring New York, for top talent. Especially in sectors like technology and telecom, competition is fierce as offices re-open and people return to work.
Between August and September 2020, specifically, 800,000 women nationwide left the workforce to look after children who were forced into distance or virtual learning environments when schools closed, Forbes reports. As these women – and other parents of all genders – seek to return to the workforce, employee benefits are near the top of their list of considerations before they take a new position.
Fortunately, in addition to increasing benefits for New Jersey TDB (Temporary Disability Benefits) the State of New Jersey passed legislation to broaden and expand its Family Leave Insurance (FLI). Neighboring New York has one of the most robust paid family leave (PFL) policies in the country, introduced in 2017 and fully rolled out with the maximum benefits payouts in 2021.
NY Paid Family Leave (PFL) Benefits as of 2021
In 2021, New York workers can claim PFL for income replacement up to 67% of their average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks to:
- Care for a newborn, adopted or fostered child within the first 12 months
- Care for a seriously ill family member
- Manage the household while a spouse is deployed as active-duty U.S. military
The program is employer-sponsored and employee-funded, with money deducted from employee’s paychecks with pre-tax dollars. The maximum annual premium contribution for 2021 is $385.34. The maximum weekly benefit is $971.61.
NJ Family Leave Insurance (FLI) Benefits as of 2021
Like New York, New Jersey also offers 12 weeks of paid leave for family members to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child within the first 12 months, to take care of the household while a military spouse is deployed, or to care for any ill or disabled family member. New Jersey extends the definition of a family member to include anyone who “is considered family,” so this could include an aunt, uncle, cousin, or even an older or disabled neighbor who needs assistance. New York, on the other hand, does not outline its definition of a “family member” under the PFL legislation.
New Jersey’s benefit is more generous than New York, for employees who do not max out the benefit based on their average weekly wage. New Jersey pays up to 85% of an employee’s average weekly wage, which is, obviously, higher than 67%. However, New Jersey caps the benefit at $860, compared to New York’s maximum benefit of $971.61.
FLI in New Jersey – One More Step to Family Friendly Workplaces
New York and New Jersey’s family leave programs are amongst the most generous in the nation. Other states in the Northeast, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, have followed suit with Paid Family and Medical Leave policies of their own.
New Jersey’s FLI program, coupled with rich TDI benefits for employees who are ill or injured off the job, gives New Jersey business owners an advantage in recruiting talent. But FLI should only represent the start of a family friendly company. Perks and benefits such as flex-time, remote work, and on-site childcare may also help set NJ business owners apart in the quest for talent. Ancillary benefits like Group Life / AD&D, dental and vision coverage are also important to parents in the workforce.
EZTDB can help you save money by privatizing statutory TDI coverage in New Jersey, freeing up funds for ancillary benefits and other incentives to recruit and retain working parents in NJ.