NEW: New York Announces Paid Family Leave Information for 2021

Employee contribution rate includes an adjustment for COVID-19

Pfl Update 2021 (1)

In 2018 New York State implemented one of the most comprehensive Paid Family Leave (PFL) laws in the nation. The law allows employees to take a job-protected leave of absence for a percentage of their pay due to the birth/adoption of a child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or for a qualifying need due to a family member on active duty in the military. This new benefit was financed as part of the existing statutory state disability insurance program. Employers pay for the insurance premium via a deduction from employee wages and employees who qualify for the leave receive a percentage of their wages from the insurance carrier.

In 2021, the benefit amount will increase from 60% to 67% of the state average weekly wage (SAWW), to allow an employee to take up to 12 weeks of leave for one of the qualifying events.  The PFL benefit will now be fully implemented in 2021.

Please see the chart below for a quick glance at the differences from 2020 to 2021. 




Weekly Benefit (% of employee weekly wage)



Max. Length of Paid Leave

10 Weeks

12 Weeks

Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)



Maximum Weekly Benefit



Employee Contribution Rate

0.270% of wages

0.511% of wages*

Maximum Employee Contribution



This increase will go into effect as of 1/1/21 and is a pre-tax deduction. Employers should notify employees of these changes, especially if the employer is withholding the employee contribution, as almost all employers choose to do. HR One clients can find and download a sample memo under "Forms > NYS Paid Family Leave" in the member login section above.

For more information review our Paid Family Leave Guide.

*This includes a 0.005% adjustment to cover COVID-19 related claims.