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29 Jul

July 2021 New Hampshire HR Legal Updates

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New Hampshire Passes Voluntary Enrollment Paid Leave Program 

Update Applicable to:
All employers in New Hampshire. 

What happened?
On June 24, 2021, New Hampshire Legislature passed a two-year state budget that included an amendment to 21-I, which enacts the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan. 

What are the details?
The program, effective July 1, 2021, was signed into the budget on June 25, 2021 and is a completely voluntary plan on the part of individuals and employers. Overage for the program will start January 1, 2023. The law requires that the insurance carrier, or carriers that are awarded the state employee insurance contract, allow all public employers, as well as private employers with more than 50 employees, to opt into the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan policies. 

Employers who opt in to the program must participate in payroll deductions and provide heightened employment protections, such as continuation of health insurance coverage during leave, as well as protection from discrimination and retaliation from utilizing the leave. The employers who do decide to opt in to the program will be provided tax credits. 

Employees who work for businesses that participate in the voluntary program can utilize the leave for: 

  • The birth of a child or caring for a newborn child for the first year.
  • Newly adopted or fostered children within the first year.
  • Care for an employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • Care for a spouse, child, or parent who is in the military.
  • A personal serious health condition that is independent of employment, if the employer does not offer short-term disability insurance. 

Individuals working for employers that do not choose to participate in the program or have equivalent paid leave programs can opt in to the Granite State Paid Family Leave Plan through the individual pool. Employers are responsible for remitting the employee-paid premiums to the state by a payroll deduction. 

The details program can be read here

Articles on the program can be read here and here. 

What do employers need to do?
Employers should read the law on the new program to determine if they will participate and follow guidelines to stay in compliance once the coverage begins January 1, 2023.