What is a family and medical leave insurance fund?

A paid family and medical leave insurance (FMLI) fund provides all  workers with wage replacement while they take time off work to:

  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition, including a parent, child, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, or sibling in need of care
  • Care for a newborn, newly adopted child, or newly placed foster child
  • Care for their own serious health condition, such as a pregnancy related condition, domestic violence, or sexual assault

FMLI does not require employers to pay for their employees' family and medical leave. Instead, existing FMLI programs are financed through payroll deductions. This especially benefits small businesses that often cannot afford to offer such a benefit to their employees on their own. 


The existing programs provide varying amounts of available leave; national experts recommend that workers have the ability to take up to twelve weeks of partially paid leave in a 12-month period. 

What is a paid family and medical leave insurance fund?
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with an fmli program, which workers have access to paid leave?

All workers will have access to paid leave regardless of gender. The program covers most or all private-sector employers, and self-employed individuals can opt-in.


what would be the benefit amount?

In PA, we will aim to have a policy that provides a higher percentage benefit to workers who earn lower wages, so that all workers (not just high wage workers) can afford to take paid family leave when they need it. We are proposing a sliding scale wage replacement rate: 90% phase down to 50% based on average weekly wage. Most models indicate the maximum weekly benefit to be between $573-$995. 

how much would it cost?

Initial estimates indicate that the average weekly contribution for a Pennsylvania worker will be between 0.67 of 1% to 0.295 of 1%, depending on income. The total cost to all eligible workers would be less than one percent of annual income.

why is paid family and medical leave good for business?

Ten years of analysis of the California paid leave program indicate that businesses have saved money due to lower rates of employee turnover. Businesses of all sizes reported positive outcomes, but small business - those with 50 or fewer employees - reported the most positive effects. With our proposed model. The cost to employers is negligible, possibly adding a small cost to payroll processing. 

why is paid family and medical leave good for workers and families?

Paid family and medical leave allows workers time to address their own serious health conditions and to tend to their family caregiving responsibilities - including caring for a spouse or an aging parent - without risking financial instability. Research demonstrates that when workers have access to paid family and medical leave, the health and well-being of parents and children is improved. Having access to paid leave also means that families are less likely to use public assistance.