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September 24 2018

Tax Reform Expanded Paid Family, Medical Leave. Here’s How

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Tax reform delivered over 4 million American workers to bonuses, pay raises, and new benefits like educational training. Working parents may also now enjoy paid family leave thanks to a new provision in the tax reform bill.

Thanks to a proposal by Senator Deb Fischer, employers who provide paid time off to full-time and part-time workers in 2018 and 2019 to welcome a new baby, adopt a child, care for a sick family member, or address their own illness can now qualify for a new business credit. Fischer's idea first made it into the Senate version of the tax reform bill which was eventually passed in 2017.

The Treasury Department just released guidance on how employers can take advantage of this new provision.

Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained the value of the credit, noting:

“Delivering relief to hardworking taxpayers and their families was a central goal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We expanded and strengthened paid family and medical leave, which are investments in the future of our workers, families and country. By enhancing the benefits of this tax credit, we help empower working parents to pursue their careers while balancing their demands at home.”

Senator Fischer said previously of the proposal:

"By encouraging flexible work arrangements, this proposal would allow workers to take leave on an hourly basis so they could care for a sick child or take an elderly parent to a doctor’s appointment. It also would cover maternity and paternity leave for biological and adoptive parents."

This is yet another reason for moms and dads to be pleased that Congress passed much-needed tax relief for workers, families, and businesses.

Not only did corporations like Chipotle, Wal-Mart, and CVS pass some of the savings from lower tax rates onto their workers in the form of paid leave benefits, but even more companies are encouraged by Washington to offer their workers paid time off to welcome a new baby to the world.

Not every company can afford to offer specific paid maternity and paternity leave though.

A social security paid leave plan is another way to expand paid leave to younger workers in a way that doesn’t crowd out options by private companies, require a new tax on all workers, or create a new entitlement program.

Paid leave is important for American families and workers which is why our lawmakers are looking for ways to expand coverage in a responsible way that isn’t costly for businesses or workers.

Read more:

Senator Deb Fischer's Family Leave Plan Makes It Into Senate Tax Bill
5 Companies Expanding Parental Leave Thanks to Tax Cuts
Social Security Parental Leave

>>> Sign up to read more about expanding paid leave



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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