New York broke ground and made waves when it introduced the nation’s most generous Paid Family Leave legislation in 2016. By 2021, benefits had been fully phased in to provide up to 67% of an employee’s average weekly wage for up to 12 weeks. And, on January 1, 2023, PFL coverage will be expanded to include paid time off to care for siblings.

Under the law, most private employers are required to provide PFL coverage to full-time employees after they have put in at least 26 consecutive weeks of 20 or more hours per week and part-time employees who have worked at least 175 days.

Until now, PFL has been written as a rider to NYS DBL coverage. But the State of New York recently made it possible to write stand-alone PFL coverage through select insurance carriers. This makes PFL coverage available on a voluntary basis to public employees, self-employed workers, and independent contractors, as well as union employees as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Who Qualifies for Stand-Alone PFL?

Stand-alone PFL provides access to this important benefit for employers who are not required – and don’t desire – to offer short-term disability benefits to their workers. Employees who opt in will receive the same benefits as other workers who have access to statutory PFL as a rider to their DBL coverage.

Union employees can gain access to stand-alone PFL benefits only as part of a collective bargaining agreement. Employers with union workers should understand that they must file an opt-in notice with the Worker’s Compensation Board and then provide 90 days notice any non-represented employees. They must also identify employees who qualify for a waiver for the benefits.

PFL insurance premiums are employee-funded through payroll deductions established by the employer.

How to Use PFL As a Doorway to Enhanced Employee Benefits Packages

PFL is an important benefit, especially with so many members of the “sandwich generation” caring for aging parents or even siblings as well as young children at the same time. But short-term disability benefits are equally important.

The pandemic taught many of us important lessons about strength and resilience and our own mortality. If you get ill or injured, how will you provide for your family? This is the question New York insurance brokers need to be asking their clients – especially in an inflationary period, where borrowing money from investments could be a losing proposition.

Enriched DBL coverage protects all the employees in a company – not just those with older adults or younger children in their care.

A recent survey from the Bipartisan Policy Center found that, on average across income levels, 30% of employed American adults do not have an emergency savings account available to cover unexpected expenses or job loss. Those calculations include 12% of Americans with household income exceeding $100,000 annually, and 26% with income between $50,000 and $100,000. Even workers in upper management positions can benefit from enriched DBL to help them make ends meet if they become ill or suffer an injury off the job.

Today’s employees need better, more robust benefits than ever before to fight the economic uncertainty so prevalent in the U.S. Enriched DBL, coupled with Group Life / AD&D and other ancillary benefits, can give workers the peace-of-mind they need to remain at their most productive.

Stand-alone PFL Opens a New Market

Stand-alone PFL represents a new market for DBL Center insurance brokers. As your insurance wholesaler in New York, the DBL Center has the carrier relationships to help you write stand-alone PFL or bundle it with Enriched DBL and ancillary benefits for even greater savings.

Let The DBL Center help you increase your profits for the second half of 2022 while creating satisfied customers who trust you for their insurance needs.