On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, HR 133, the most recent COVID-19 relief and stimulus bill, was signed into law. The law extends some of the previously enacted relief provisions and ends others. The key provisions are summarized below.

COVID-19 paid sick and family leave – voluntary but eligible for an employer

Many employers are busy worrying about declining revenue, stay-at-home government mandates, and keeping employees safe. Most have not considered the impact that changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic might have on their employee benefits.

Dependent care FSAs

Many employees experienced recent closures in their children’s schools and day cares. Employees that enrolled in dependent care

Congress passed a myriad of tax credits, deferments, loans, and forgivable loan payments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers struggling to navigate the different options should work closely with their lender, accountant, and legal counsel.

Qualified Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits

Wages paid for COVID-19 family and sick leave under the Families First

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued two guidance letters this past weekend clarifying the unemployment compensation expansion of the CARES Act, which was passed on March 27, 2020. The guidance letters direct state unemployment and workforce agencies to cover workers who normally do not qualify for unemployment compensation through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program

UPDATED 4/3/20: Regulations were issued and, as of April 3, banks are accepting applications for loans. Funds will be issued through June 30 or until the money appropriated is exhausted.

Phase 3 of the coronavirus relief is expected to be passed and signed into law on Friday, March 27. It is titled the Coronavirus Aid,