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NY Paid Family Leave: How to Plan for 2020

It’s time to start looking ahead to 2020 and prepping for changes to New York’s Paid Family Leave program. The state announced upcoming increases to benefits and premiums on Sept. 1, 2019. The changes go into effect Jan. 2, 2020 — the third year on the planned four-year schedule to phase in benefits. Here’s what you need to know and some tips to get ready.

Premium Rate Will Increase in 2020

Employers will want to give employees advanced notice of increased premium rates — from 0.153% of an employee’s wages each pay period in 2019 to $0.270% in 2020. That equals a significant increase of 76%. But employees don’t have to worry about a big impact to their weekly paychecks — the amount deducted will still be a very small percentage.

Two examples:*

  1. Employees earning $519 a week ($27,000 a year) in 2019 paid $0.79 per week. In 2020, they’ll pay $1.40.
  2. Employees earning the 2019 NY Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,357.11 ($70,569.72 a year paid $2.07 per week. Those earning more paid 0.153% of their gross wages each pay period — until they reached the 2019 maximum of $107.97.

In 2020, employees earning the SAWW of $1,401.17 ($72,860.84 a year) will pay about $3.70 per week. Those earning more will pay 0.270% of their gross wages each pay period — until they reach the 2020 maximum of $196.72.


Changes to NY PFL20192020
Premium Rate0.153%0.270%
Maximum Annual Employee Contribution$107.97$196.72
NY Statewide Average Weekly Wage$1,357.11$1,401.17
Benefits % of employee average weekly wage55%60%
Benefit Cap % of NY SAWW55%60%
Maximum Weekly Benefit$746.41$840.70
Available Leave (no charge)10 weeks10 weeks


Higher Benefits Offer More Financial Security

The amount of paid family leave employees can take won’t change — it’s still 10 weeks in 2020. But benefits will increase, based on the state’s schedule, as well as an increase in the NY Statewide Average Weekly Wage.

For 2020, the weekly benefit will increase to 60% of an employee's average weekly wage, capped at $840.70. That maximum equals 60% of the NY Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,401.17. See the chart above for a side-by-side comparison of New York’s 2019 and 2020 programs.

Newly Eligible in 2020 — Farm Workers

Governor Cuomo recently signed legislation to expand access to Paid Family Leave to eligible farm laborers in New York, effective Jan. 1, 2020.*

Tips to Help You Prep

Employers have about three months to get ready for 2020. Things that will need updating include:

  • Administration and billing systems
  • Employee notices, handbooks, other materials
  • Benefit websites/intranet

More Insights Into the Changes

For a closer look, check out the state’s press release: Decision on the Premium Rate for Family Leave Benefits and Maximum Employee Contribution for Coverage Beginning January 1, 2020.

Watch This Space

Want to stay up to date? Subscribe   to our RSS feed for Relatively Speaking, our PFL-focused blog. At The Standard, we’re on board to help you stay current on the latest paid family leave trends, legislation and programs.

Feeling social? Follow The Standard on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with the hashtag #PaidFamilyLeave.


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