FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act Overview & Tax Credits

Although federally mandated COVID-19 paid sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ended on Dec. 31, 2020, legislative updates extended the ability for eligible employers (and certain self-employed individuals) to claim dollar-for-dollar payroll tax credits for qualified "FFCRA-like" paid leave to September 30, 2021.

When it was initially enacted in April 2020, FFCRA required certain employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide emergency sick pay and family medical leave to workers impacted by COVID-19 from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. There is a two-year statue of limitations for a worker to file a complaint with the Wage & Hour Division regarding unpaid FFCRA wages in 2020. While the following FFCRA provisions are no longer federally required, employers may claim FFCRA credits for providing similar emergency paid sick leave through Sept. 30, 2021.

2021 FFCRA Emergency Paid Leave Provisions

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA): Provided up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for absences due to COVID-19 quarantine orders, or for caring for self or individuals who are ill with COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA): Expanded the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for workers to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they need to care for their children due to school closures or if childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19 from April 1 - Dec. 31, 2020.

2021 FFCRA Credit Updates

  • 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) extended FFCRA employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees from Jan. 1 to March 31, 2021. 
  • 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) extended the timeframe for employers to claim FFCRA credits to Sept. 30, 2021. The Act also reset employee eligibility of up to 80 hours of paid sick leave, and added the COVID-19 vaccine as a qualified absence for FFCRA credits.

More FFCRA Resources

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a self-help tool and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Laws, regulations and lending products are changing daily and decisions as to whether or how to use this information and/or what actions to take in response to the COVID19 Pandemic are solely those of the employer. The providers of this information disclaim any and all responsibility and liability for its accuracy, completeness or fitness for your particular business purposes.