Are you and your employees ready for new family taxes in 2019?

With the passage last year of a paid family- and medical-leave program for Washington State, new taxes will be collected on BOTH employers and employees starting Jan. 1, 2019. The benefits of the new program won’t begin until 2020.

AGC members are strongly encouraged to stay informed and prepare for the new program. The Employment Security Department, which will administer the program, has created this website for employers.

In a nutshell…

  • This statewide insurance plan requires employers to report employee wages, hours worked, and additional information every quarter.

  • Premiums are 0.4% of gross wages paid. The employer portion will be about 37% of the premium. Employers may withhold up to the remaining 63% of the premium from employee wages if they choose.

  • Premium collection begins in 2019 and claims for leave benefits start in 2020.

  • Workers can take leave for qualified events for up to 12 weeks generally, and up to 18 weeks under exceptional circumstances.

  • Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium but are required to collect and remit the employee portion of the premium and abide by all reporting requirements.

  • Small-business assistance grants are available to businesses with 50-150 employees, and to businesses with fewer than 50 employees who have opted-in to the employer share of the premium.

  • Voluntary plans are available to employers who want to manage a plan internally that meets or exceeds the state plan’s requirements.