The Washington Report
April 8, 2020
Note to subscribers: Due to the current environment, information is changing at a rapid rate. While we do our best to provide timely updates, it is possible that the information shared in the newsletter may change or be revised after our publication deadline. Stay healthy and safe! ~The Washington Report team
DOL Announces New Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Implementation; Releases Temporary Regulations
On April 1, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced new action regarding how workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA), both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL posted temporary regulations pursuant to this new law, which became effective on April 1, 2020. The regulations are effective from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
The temporary regulations provide guidance on:
- Paid Leave Entitlements
- Employee Eligibility
- Employer Coverage
- Intermittent Leave
- Leave to Care for a Child Due to School or Place of Care Closure or Child Care Unavailability—Interaction between the EPSLA and the EFMLEA
- Leave to Care for a Child Due to School or Place of Care Closure or Child Care Unavailability—Interaction between the EFMLEA and the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Employer Notice
- Employee Notice of Need for Leave
- Documentation of Need for Leave
- Health Care Coverage
- Multiemployer Plans
- Return to Work
- Prohibited Acts and Enforcement
- Effect of Other Laws, Employer Practices, and Collective Bargaining Agreements
For more information, see DOL Issues Temporary Regulations on FFCRA Emergency Paid Leaves in the Publications section of the newsletter.
Please note that some government websites are experiencing technological issues due to increased traffic. Readers may have to cut and paste the links below to access the information.
The DOL news release is available at:
The temporary regulations are available at:
IRS Provides Information on Employee Retention Credit Available for Businesses
Financially Impacted by COVID-19
On March 31, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided information on the Employee Retention Credit available for businesses financially impacted by COVID-19. The Treasury Department and the IRS launched the Employee Retention Credit to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The IRS is providing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and an “Overview” publication for employers on its website. The IRS is also providing a summary of other COVID-19 tax credits and a “COVID-19 Tax Relief” page for reference during the pandemic. Please refer to the guidance provided by the IRS for specific information about the Employee Retention Credit and other tax relief issues.
The news release is available here.
The “FAQs: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act” website is available here.
The IRS “COVID-19 Tax Relief” page is available here.
IRS Releases FAQs on COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave
Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses
The IRS recently released FAQs on COVID-19-related tax credits for required paid leave provided by small and midsize businesses. The FFCRA provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19. The FFCRA gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid sick and family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members. Workers may receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave for their own health needs or to care for others and up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or child care provider is closed or unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions. The FFCRA covers the costs of this paid leave by providing small businesses with refundable tax credits. Certain self-employed individuals in similar circumstances are entitled to similar credits.
The IRS is also providing a summary of other COVID-19 tax credits and a “COVID-19 Tax Relief” page for reference during the pandemic. Please refer to the guidance provided by the IRS for specific information about the paid leave tax credit and other tax relief issues.
For more information, see IRS Issues FAQs on Tax Credits for Paid Leave in the Publications section of the newsletter.
The “COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses FAQs” are available here.
The IRS “COVID-19 Tax Relief” page is available here.
IRS Issues FAQs on Tax Credits for Paid Leave
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the refundable tax credit that is available to employers with fewer than 500 employees that provide emergency Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The tax credit applies to amounts paid for leaves taken from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.
The Aon bulletin, which discusses the FAQs on claiming the credit and the “Qualified Health Plan Expenses” that can be included when determining wages for the credit, is available here.
DOL Issues Temporary Regulations on FFCRA Emergency Paid Leaves
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary regulations implementing the new emergency federal paid leave provisions for leaves taken due to COVID-19 between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, under the FFCRA. The regulations clarify and expand upon the DOL’s several recent rounds of FAQs.
The Aon bulletin, which provides an overview of the temporary regulations, is available here.
Aon Presents: Investment Market Update: Q2 2020
Register for Aon’s webinar, on April 15, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. CST/12:30 p.m. EST, to hear from industry leaders as they review the market highlights from Q2. Aon experts will also provide investments strategies for portfolios and current positioning for doing business in a volatile world.
This Q&A-style webinar will cover a range of topics, including:
- The Q2 market update;
- Investment outlook for the second half of 2020;
- Rebalancing, return-seeking and potentially risk-reducing portfolio opportunities; and
- Investing in private markets during volatility.
Please register for the Investment Market Update: Q2 2020 webinar here.
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