Congress Votes to Approve Additional COVID-19 Relief
December 22, 2020
On December 21, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation that President Trump is expected to sign very soon. A summary of key provisions for employers is set out below.
No Extension of FFCRA Leave Requirements.The legislation allows employers with less than 500 employees to voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave or expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which is set to expire on December 31, 2020, and to take the tax credit associated with this leave through March 31, 2021. In other words, FFCRA leave is no longer required, but if covered employers voluntarily provide these leave benefits, they are eligible to take the tax credit for the leave.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension, Program Changes. The legislation provides $284.5 billion for a second round of PPP loans for eligible businesses, defining eligibility for PPP second-draw loans as small businesses that have no more than 300 employees and can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. Borrowers will receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60% of their PPP second-draw loan on payroll costs over a time-period of their choosing between 8 weeks and 24 weeks.
Unemployment Insurance (UI).The legislation provides $300/week in increased federal unemployment benefits (a prior increase of $600/week expired in July). Under the legislation, all UI recipients will receive an additional $300 per week through March 14, 2021.
SESCO Management Consultants will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’sCOVID-19 Resource Centeras additional information becomes available.
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