Can Massachusetts employees be covered through a private plan?

Yes. Employers can apply for an exemption for Paid Medical Leave (and go through the state for the Paid Family Leave) or apply for an exemption for both Paid Medical Leave and Paid Family Leave. Unum will have solutions for both! Please contact your Unum representative to obtain the Declaration of Insurance that is required as part of the exemption application.

Once you have your Declaration of Insurance you can begin the exemption application process and through MassTaxConnect. Here is the link to get you started.

If you are offering a private plan only for the medical component of the MA PFML you are still responsible for collecting contributions for the Paid Family leave portion of the program and remitting these to the state by January 31, 2020 for the fourth quarter.

If you choose to self-insure you must work with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts directly to obtain a Declaration specific to self-insured plans as part of the exemption process. In addition, you must furnish a surety bond to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If you are self-insuring please refer to the following bond requirements.

Disclaimer: This Declaration serves as an intent to have a private plan to replace either the Paid Medical Leave portion of the MA PFML program or the Paid Family and Medical Leave of the MA PFML program. You must work with your Unum representative to ensure that you have a private policy in place by 01/01/2021.  

Unum is not currently offering standalone coverage for the Paid Family Leave component of the MA program.

If you apply for a private plan exemption and later choose to go through the state, you will be responsible for remitting retroactive premiums back to 10/01/2019.

Are all employees and workers eligible for MA PFML benefits?

To be eligible for benefits, the employee must have earned at least $4,700 over the 12 months prior to applying for benefits AND 30 times the weekly unemployment benefit amount they are eligible to collect.

What are the MA PFML benefits for employees?

Maximum annual leave duration:

  • Family Leave – 12 weeks
  • Medical Leave – 20 weeks
  • Military Caregiver Leave – 26 weeks
  • Combined paid leave per benefit year – 26 weeks

Pay during leave:

  • Employees earning equal to or less than 50% of the state average weekly wage receive 80% of their wages. Employees earning more than 50% of the state average weekly wage earn an additional 50% of their wages above that amount
  • Maximum weekly benefit – $850

How much will MA PFML cost employers and employees?

“All employers are required to submit contributions on behalf of all covered individuals in their workforce. Depending on how many covered individuals you had in the last calendar year, you may also be responsible for paying a share of the required contributions this year.” —


Employers with fewer than 25 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premiums. Their employees in Massachusetts will still pay into the program and be able to access full leave benefits.


To see if you are responsible for the employer’s share of PFML, use this online tool. A sample result from the tool:

(Applies to employers with 25 or more employees in Massachusetts)