COVID-19 Scenarios and Benefits Available to Your Nanny

Apr 30, 2020 | COVID-19, Domestic Workers' Rights, Labor Laws

covid-19 scenarios benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for many families. If you employ a nanny, you may be wondering what to do with your caregiver. With new laws in effect that provide paid sick and family leave as well as expanded unemployment benefits to many employees, we’ll discuss what may apply to your nanny.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging time for many families above and beyond trying to stay safe and healthy. If you employ someone to work in your home, like a nanny, you may be wondering what to do with your caregiver. With new laws in effect that provide paid sick and family leave as well as expanded unemployment benefits to many employees, we’ll discuss what may apply to your nanny.

The scenarios described below are meant to give a general picture of benefits available in certain COVID-19 work-related situations. This is not an exhaustive list of benefits. Depending on state and local laws, your employee may be entitled in certain circumstances to employer-provided benefits for paid sick leave, temporary disability, workers’ compensation, and more.

Available benefits

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides paid sick and family leave for certain circumstances related to COVID-19. Employers are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for any paid leave provided to their employees.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act) provides federal funding to expand the availability of unemployment insurance benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

State and local paid sick leave laws may provide benefits to household employees who can’t work due to COVID-19.

Workers’ compensation insurance may cover lost wages and medical bills if an employee gets sick or injured while at work. Coverage is required for household employers in many states.

Temporary disability insurance provides benefits to employees who suffer from non-work-related illnesses and is required in five states: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

Your employee is ill (even if just mildly) with COVID-19 symptoms

If your employee is seeking a medical diagnosis or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine they would be eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave through the FFCRA.

State or local paid sick leave and/or temporary disability insurance may also apply.

Your employee was exposed to COVID-19 and is quarantined

If your employee is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, they would be eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave through the FFCRA.

State or local paid sick leave and/or temporary disability insurance may also apply.

Your employee is caring for a sick family member

If the family member is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, they would be eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay through the FFCRA.

School is closed or childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19, and your employee
can’t work because of the need to care for their child.

If no other suitable person is available to care for their child, they can take up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds their regular rate of pay through the FFCRA. Then, through the expansion of family and medical leave under FFCRA, they can take an additional 12 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds of their regular rate of pay. The first 10 days of expanded leave can be unpaid.

Your employee is immunocompromised and advised to self-quarantine

They would be eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave through the FFCRA.

State or local paid sick leave and/or temporary disability insurance may also apply.

You are under quarantine because someone in your home is ill or was exposed to COVID-19

Your employee would not be eligible for paid sick leave. They may be able to receive unemployment benefits under the CARES Act if you stop paying them during this time and they take no other paid leave such as PTO or vacation time.

You no longer need a nanny as you are working from home or made other temporary childcare arrangements due to COVID-19

Your employee would not be eligible for paid sick leave. They may be able to receive unemployment benefits under the CARES Act even if you plan to re-hire them after the health crisis.

You reduce your nanny’s hours due to COVID-19

Your employee would not be eligible for paid sick leave. They may be able to receive partial unemployment benefits under the CARES Act for the reduction in hours.

The importance of legal pay

Your household employee needs to be paid legally in order to take full advantage of paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, and other benefits afforded to those in the traditional workforce. If your employee files for unemployment or makes a workers’ compensation claim, you will likely be exposed as non-compliant with labor laws and could face fines, penalties, and full payment of back taxes.

GTM can help

If you’ve been paying your nanny “off the books” or got behind on your household employment taxes and would like your nanny to be eligible for paid leave and unemployment, GTM Payroll Services can help. We offer back tax work at reasonable rates and can get you caught up on your tax obligations. Call (800) 929-9213 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert. We can also provide a quote for workers’ compensation insurance and manage your policy.

For GTM clients

As part of your service, we can handle your tax credits if you provide paid sick leave under FFCRA. Call client support at (800) 929-9213 to learn more.

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