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Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave

Benefit Overview

Covered Leaves and Durations

Leave TypeCovered LeaveMaximum Leave Duration
  • Leave taken by a covered individual due to a serious health condition
20 weeks
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a new child after birth, adoption or foster care placement
  • Manage family affairs when a family member is on active duty in the armed forces
12 weeks
  • Care for a family member who serves in the armed forces
26 weeks

The maximum amount of combined family and medical leave that an individual may take is 26 weeks per benefit year.

Weekly Benefit Amount

Employees can receive a maximum benefit of $1,129.82 per week in 2023. This maximum benefit amount will change each year to match 64% of Massachusetts’ average weekly wage.

Waiting Period

When employees begin paid family or medical leave, there is a seven-day waiting period of seven calendar days before benefit payments will start. They will not receive benefit payments during this waiting period. Also, these seven days will count against the total available leave for the benefit year.

Intermittent Leaves

Intermittent leave may be taken for all types of family or medical leaves. Employees need to have their leave schedule approved by their employers before applying.


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

Who's Covered

Covered Employees

  • All W-2 workers who work in Massachusetts, including full-time, part-time and seasonal employees
  • Self-employed individuals, if they choose to participate
  • 1099-MISC workers who work in Massachusetts if:
    • They do not qualify as independent contractors
    • 1099-MISC workers make up more than 50% of their employer’s workforce

Employees must have earned at least $6,000 over the past four calendar quarters before applying for benefits.

Family Members

Covered employees may take family leave to care for a:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Spouse’s or domestic partner’s parents
  • Person who stood in loco parentis to the covered individual when the covered individual was a minor child
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

How it Works

Plan Options

Employers can use the state PFML program or get state approval for a private plan.

Private Plans

  • Can be insured through an insurance carrier or self funded by the employer.
  • Can be administered by an insurance carrier, a third-party administrator or by the employer.

You must receive an annual exemption to use a private plan. To renew an exemption, you can re-apply in the quarter before the current exemption ends.

For example:

Private Plan Renewal DateWhen to ApplyMust be Approved By:
January 1Q4December 31
April 1Q1March 31
July 1Q2June 30
October 1Q3September 30

The Standard can help you meet the requirements for a private plan. Learn more about our leave management services.


For employers with 25 or more employees using the state PFML program, both employers and employees contribute a total of 0.63% of an employee's earnings.

25 or more covered employees: 0.63% Total Contribution
Employee contribution0.318% of taxable wage base 
Employer contribution0.312% of taxable wage base 

Employers with fewer than 25 eligible employees are not required to contribute to the state program. However, they are required to make payroll deductions.

Fewer than 25 covered employees: 0.344% Total Contribution
Employee contribution0.344% of taxable wage base 
Employer contributionSmall employers are under no obligation to contribute themselves. However, they may elect to cover some or all of their covered employees share. 

Additional Information Employers Need to Know

Private Employers

Private employers with one or more employees are subject to the Massachusetts PFML law and must make payroll deductions on behalf of workers and covered individuals. Employers may choose to cover the cost of MA PFML for their employees.

Employers are not allowed to require employees to use accrued leave (such as vacation or sick) for PFML-covered leave. However, employees are allowed to use accrued leave during the first seven days of leave.

Employers in the state plan are required to remit premiums and report wages on the last day of the month of the following quarter.

Other Non-Private Employers and Workers

  • Program participation is optional for self-employed individuals. To participate, the self-employed individual must opt into the PFML program for at least three years and make contributions for at least two quarters before applying for benefits.
  • Program participation is optional for city, town, district and political subdivision employers.
  • Self-funding employers are required to issue a surety bond. Download our Insurance Bond Calculator   to determine your estimated bond based on MA PFML.1
  1. The information and calculations displayed on this site do not necessarily reflect the actual amount of your bond requirement. The results provided by our MA PFML bond calculator are approximations and should be used only as estimates.

More Information

For more details, visit the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave site.

If you'd like to see how we can help you comply with leave laws, check out our leave management services. We offer both absence management and benefits administration so you can focus your time where you need it most.


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

Legislative Activity

No Legislative Activity Found.

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