Critical COVID-19 Information for Employers

Posted by Christy Putnam on July 21, 2020 at 11:53 AM

Critical COVID-19 Information for EmployersWhile the presence of the Coronavirus in the United States stretches into its fifth month, the pandemic continues to impact employers, their businesses, and their workers. Three of the latest developments are below.

As your business continues addressing these items, please remember that Bennett/Porter & Associates is here to continue supporting you, your employees, and your organization. We strive to keep you up-to-date on all the latest HR, payroll, and employer-related technology changes that impact your company. If you are not currently signed-up to receive our Blog posts, we encourage you to do so in order to avoid missing important updates such as these. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or technology needs you have.

PPP Loan Application Deadline Extended

Congress extended the deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to August 8, 2020. This extension was signed into law by President Trump on July 4, 2020. As of July 10th, it was reported by the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of the Treasury that $132 billion remained available.

The SBA and U.S. Treasury clarified that borrowers can apply for forgiveness any time on or before the maturity date of their loan, including prior to the end of its applicable coverage period, if the borrower has used all the loan proceeds for which it requests forgiveness. If borrowers do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the coverage period or the SBA determines the loan is not eligible for forgiveness, the borrower must begin to pay principal and interest. The forgiveness period has been expanded from the original 8 weeks to 24 weeks from the origination date of the loan or December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier (H.R.7010).

Federal Unemployment Benefits Ending Earlier Than Expected

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) was established through the CARES Act to help people who lost their jobs during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the FPUC, those eligible receive an additional $600 in weekly federal benefits. The temporary $600 per week FPUC may be ending a week earlier than most people expect, since the program expires on July 31st. A statement from the Department of Labor said, “The $600 can be paid for weeks ending no later than the week ending prior to Friday, July 31st.” For all states except New York, that means Saturday, July 25th. New York’s end date is Sunday, July 26th.

There are many discussions taking place in the legislature around extending the unemployment benefit, which is helping more than 25 million Americans, as well as instituting another round of stimulus payments, but progress is slow and nothing has been agreed upon as of the publication of this post.

FFCRA Sick Leave and FMLA Required on Form W-2’s

Beginning April 1, 2020 and lasting through December 31, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with less than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and enhanced FMLA to workers for reasons related to COVID-19.

Earlier this month the IRS issued guidance, Notice 2020-54, explaining the employer’s responsibility for reporting FFCRA sick leave and enhanced FMLA wages paid to employees on the 2020 Form W-2’s. Employers will be required to report these amounts in Box 14 on the Form W-2 or in a statement provided with the Form W-2. This information will help self-employed individuals, who are also employees, determine tax credits that may be claimed.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has created an online tool to help employees determine eligibility for paid sick leave or paid expanded FMLA. An employer tool is coming soon, as shown on the same website.

Additional information regarding New Employer Tax Credits in regards to COVID-19 can be found on the IRS.gov website.

If your company is looking for resources to understand or manage these rapidly-changing situations, please consider our solutions:

  • People Savvy HCM Essentials is both a resource library and a team of live HR professionals ready to offer you guidance in all things related to Human Resources.
  • Powered by Kronos Workforce Ready, People Savvy HCM is a full-suite Human Capital Management (HCM) cloud solution delivering employee lifecycle management – from recruitment to retirement.

Topics: News Alert, Human Resources, Payroll, Family Leave Acts, COVID-19

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