In 2024, workers in Washington state can look forward to a slight reduction in the premiums for the Paid Family & Medical Leave program. The program has proven to be a crucial financial safety net that has supported over 125,000 individuals with benefits exceeding $1 billion in 2023 alone. The Employment Security Department (ESD) has announced that as the new year rolls in, the premium rate will be adjusted downward to 0.74% from the current rate of 0.8%.
This adjustment reflects the program’s design, which mandates an annual recalibration of the premium rate based on the prior year’s collected premiums and the utilization of the program. The cost-sharing structure between employers and employees will remain unchanged; employers will contribute 28.57% of the total premium, while employees will shoulder the remaining 71.43%.
It’s important to note that smaller businesses, specifically those with fewer than 50 employees, are not obligated to pay their share of the premiums unless they choose to participate voluntarily. Nonetheless, these smaller entities are still responsible for collecting the employee portion of the premium or covering it on behalf of their employees.
Washingtonians are encouraged to visit the official website at paidleave.wa.gov/updates for more detailed information and updates on the program. This resource is set to provide ongoing guidance and support to both employers and workers navigating the Paid Family & Medical Leave benefits.