By Mary Jo Coulehan | Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Employers can now register their business on the new Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program site through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). This new program will take effect in January of 2023 with employees being able to withdraw from this fund in 2024. Employers are required to inform their employees of this new payroll deduction by Jan. 1, 2023. Has your business done this? Do you know how to register and how to process the withdrawals?
The CDLE has a special website portal set up to answer many of your questions, to register, and it also has a number of informational tools. Employers can use this site to print posters to post in the workplace, an employee handbook you can have available, even payroll stuffers you can use now to inform employees of this imminent change. If you would like to familiarize yourself with this new law, the easiest way is to visit www.famli.colorodo.gov. Through this website, you can then access the employer portal.
As a background, Proposition 118 was voted into law by the public in 2020. The withdrawals become effective in January of 2023, with employees being able to apply and, if qualified, withdraw from this fund starting in 2024. Paid leave will be granted to employees that need time off to take care of themselves or a family member for things like maternity leave or serious illness. Employees can receive up to 12 weeks of leave. The amount taken from a paycheck period is a total of .9 percent with .45 percent paid by the employee and .45 percent paid by the employer. Businesses with nine or fewer employees do not need to contribute; however, they must remit their employees’ share. Many employers use systems such as QuickBooks or Intuit to process payroll. These accounting or payroll systems will have a new payroll item set up in the system by the end of December. Employers using this or a similar system will not have to come up with a way to take out these deductions. You will report and pay the deductions on a quarterly basis just as you do now with other quarterly payroll deductions.
The website portal where you must register your business is open. You can access this portal through the aforementioned website link and click on the “Employer” box. The site is user-friendly for both employers and employees and has a significant amount of information as mentioned for both the employer and staff. The Chamber of Commerce also has a link to this site on our website from the home page. Just scroll down to Community and Chamber news and click on the graphic for the FAMLI Program. There is also a link to the Colorado Secure Savings Program, which is also going into effect in January 2023.
It is important that employers do the following: Alert your employees about this new deduction beginning Jan. 1. Alert them through payroll stuffers and posters. Some employees may want to know what their approximate take-out might be. The site also has a calculator that you can use to estimate their deduction. Register your business now. Don’t wait until after the first of the year. Get your business in order now. Check with your accountant or bookkeeper to alert you when the new software is in place and make sure that this new payroll deduction item is on your paychecks beginning in January 2023.
And while you are at it, talk to your employees about the Colorado Secure Savings Program. While this is not a required deduction, it could be a reasonable way for employees to create a savings fund for themselves and their family. Employers will also need to register for this program, which also begins in January of 2023. The Chamber has been alerting businesses of these impending changes for some time now and time is running out. Before the holiday rush descends on your business, get your bookkeeping and employee requirements in order. Should you have questions, visit the site or contact Mary Jo at the Chamber at (970) 264-2360.