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Paid Family Leave 2021

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As we finish our four-year phase-in of New York State’s landmark Paid Family Leave, there are exciting updates to share! In 2021, Paid Family Leave benefits have been significantly enhanced to further improve the lives of working New Yorkers and their families.

More time off.

In 2021, eligible employees will have access to up to 12 weeks of job protection, paid time off to bond with a new child, care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to assist loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military service. This time can be taken all at once, or in increments of full days.

More uses.

In addition to the above uses, a law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in April 2020 guarantees workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they, or their minor dependent child, are under an order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. In these situations, Paid Family Leave may be available for use. See the COVID-19 quarantine leave page for full details.

More financial security.

The Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefit is also increasing. In 2021, employees taking Paid Family Leave will receive 67% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 67% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,450.17. The maximum weekly benefit for 2021 is $971.61.

Paid Family Leave Benefits Examples for 2021

Worker’s Average Weekly Wage

Weekly PFL Benefit (2021)*

$600

$402

$1,000

$670

$2,000 

$971.61

*The weekly PFL benefit is capped at 67% of the New York State average weekly wage, which is $971.61.

Same strong protections.

Employees can take leave to care for their family members knowing New York has their backs. With some of the nation’s strongest worker protections, New York Paid Family Leave guarantees that:

  • Employees have job protection, ensuring they can return to the same job (or a comparable one) when they return from Paid Family Leave.
  • Employees can keep their health insurance while on leave on the same terms they had while working.
  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against employees for requesting or taking Paid Family Leave.

And as New York continues to look out for some of our most vulnerable workers, citizenship is never a factor in eligibility for New York Paid Family Leave.

Fully funded by employees.

New York Paid Family Leave is insurance that may be funded by employees through payroll deductions. In 2021, the contribution is 0.511% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. The maximum annual contribution is $385.34.

Employees earning less than the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) of $1,450.17 will contribute less than the annual cap of $385.34, consistent with their actual wages.

Here are some contribution and benefit examples at different income levels:

  1. Employees earning $519 a week (about $27,000 a year) will pay about $2.65 per week: $519 x 0.511%. When taking the benefit, these employees will receive $347.73 per week, up to a maximum total benefit of $4,172.76.
  2. Employees earning $1,000 a week ($52,000 a year) will pay $5.11 per week: $1,000 x 0.511%. When taking the benefit, these employees will receive $670 per week, up to a maximum total benefit of $8,040.
  3. Employees earning the SAWW of $1,450.17 ($75,408 a year) or more will pay 0.511% x their gross wages each pay period until they reach the maximum of $385.34. When taking the benefit, these employees will receive $971.61 per week, up to a maximum total benefit of $11,659.32.

For more information or assistance on Paid Family Leave for 2021, check out the frequently asked questions and employer resources, below. You can also call the Paid Family Leave Helpline at 844.337.6303 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

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