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Full Steam Ahead: Granite State Paid Family and Medical Leave Plan Approved By Executive Council
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Sununu issued the following statement after the Executive Council voted to approve the Granite State Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) Plan, clearing the last hurdle ahead of implementation next year.
“New Hampshire’s voluntary, private market PFML plan is the first in the nation to provide benefits to Granite State families without requiring an income tax or a mandatory, automatic payroll deduction," said Governor Chris Sununu. "This paid leave product will be universally accessible for anyone who wants it and forced upon no one who does not.”
The contract the State of New Hampshire entered into with Metropolitan Life is to administer the Granite State Paid Family Medical Leave plan for five years and includes an allocation to pay for the benefit for state employees. The program will open for enrollment on January 1, 2023.
“New Hampshire continues to show how free-market approaches can provide cutting-edge solutions to important policy issues,” said Christopher Nicolopoulos, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Insurance Department. “New Hampshire has a tradition of tackling policy issues in fresh and creative ways, and this PFML program is no exception.”
“The Department of Administrative Services is looking forward to partnering with Metropolitan Life to offer this important benefit to state employees and workers across the state of New Hampshire” said Charlie Arlinghaus, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services.
The Granite State PFML Plan provides participating employees with 60% of their average weekly wage for up to six weeks per year for specified leaves of absence from the workplace. The plan affords an alternative to a mandatory program by providing voluntary access to a benefit for all employees working in New Hampshire and a business enterprise tax (BET) credit equal to 50% of the premium paid by sponsoring employers.
“This voluntary, opt-in program for both businesses and individuals does not currently exist in any other state,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner DJ Bettencourt. “We are committed to enthusiastically implementing this plan for the betterment of Granite Staters.”