July 15, 2021


State to Release Revised Employer Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates & Assessments on July 26


The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has announced that they will post revised unemployment insurance tax rates and assessments to employers’ online accounts on July 26th
COVID-19 related claims from this year and last created an estimated $7 billion deficit in the UI Trust Fund, resulting in a drastic increase in the Solvency Fund Assessment (9.23%) earlier this year.  A COVID-19 relief fund was then created to remove those claims from the Solvency Fund, but those claims are still to be paid for by employers, over the next 20 years, via a new COVID-19 assessment. 
The revised Solvency Fund Assessment is expected to be 1.12%.  The initial new COVID-19 assessment is expected to be 10.5% of an employer’s experience tax rate.  
Both Q1 and Q2 2021 contributions and deferrals are due on 8/31/2021.  Q2 2021 Wage Filings are still due by 3pm on August 2, 2021.


 Sample COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request Form & Reimbursement Guidance Now Available

The Executive Office of Administration and Finance has updated its COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program website to provide additional program information and new guidance for employers on how to apply for reimbursement
Members are reminded that the COVID-19 Temporary Emergency Paid Sick Leave Program requires Massachusetts employers to make paid leave time available to employees for COVID-related illnesses, quarantine, and vaccination, which depending on employer size may be reimbursable through a federal tax credit or reimbursement from the state.  The law is effective through September 30, 2021 or the exhaustion of the program’s $75 million fund, whichever is earlier.  For more information please click here.  



RAM Opposes Employee Scheduling Legislation

On Tuesday, July 13th the Massachusetts Legislature’s Labor and Workforce Development Committee held a public hearing on bills pertaining to Employee Rights and Benefits, including three bills relating to the scheduling of employees (H.1974, S.1236, S.1235). The proposals would subject retail, hospitality and food service establishments with more than 50 employees to a framework of unworkable scheduling requirements and costly penalties for failure to comply. 
Requirements would include providing employees a written good faith estimate of their work schedule—with employees having the right to make schedule requests, providing notice of work hours at least 14 days prior to the start of a new schedule, making penalty payments for changes to that schedule, offering additional hours to existing employees before hiring new employees, and keeping detailed scheduling records for a period of two years. 
RAM General Counsel, Ryan Kearney, testified in opposition to the proposals at the virtual hearing and in written testimony.  Members with concerns regarding these measures are urged to contact their local House Representative and Senator to voice their concerns.  Members with questions may contact Ryan Kearney at 617-523-1900 or via email at [email protected].


Coming Soon – The MA Employer Health Insurance Survey

The MA Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) is now sending out their biennial Massachusetts Employer Survey (MES).  Survey responses provide valuable information for the business community on employer health insurance offerings, cost-sharing and employer decision making among other topic areas.  If you receive an invitation to the MES we encourage you to respond at your earliest convenience here: mahealthsurveys.gov/mes