Mercer urges more healthcare, paid leave legislation and guidance 

Connecticut Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave
March 24, 2020
To address the economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mercer is urging Congress and the Trump administration to respond swiftly with more healthcare and paid leave legislation and regulatory guidance for American workers and their families. In a letter to key policymakers, Mercer President and CEO Martine Ferland commended the response to date, but said it’s “critical that Congress and the administration turn next to a package to help affected employers provide additional assistance to their employees.”

More action needed

While the just-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Pub. L. No. 116-127) incorporates many of Ferland’s recommendations, her letter advocates additional healthcare and paid leave measures for employees and plan sponsors, including:

  • Remove current compliance barriers to offering all — not just COVID-19-related — telemedicine services without cost sharing and to providing those services to all employees — not just those enrolled in their employer’s comprehensive medical plan
  • Delay employers’ reporting duties under the Affordable Care Act’s employer-shared responsibility provisions
  • Give employers greater flexibility to use electronic delivery to meet reporting and disclosure obligations
  • Clarify key aspects of the FFCRA’s emergency paid leave provisions
  • Create a nationally uniform and consistent paid leave compliance standard for multistate employers

Congress and the Trump administration are actively considering these issues as part of potential new guidance and a “Phase 3” economic aid package that could soon become law. The Department of Labor (DOL) has also launched a website soliciting input on guidance employers need to implement the FFCRA’s emergency paid leave requirements. The deadline for comments is March 29.

Related resources

Non-Mercer resources

  • Comment on needed guidance to implement FFCRA’s emergency paid leave (DOL, March 23, 2020)
  • News release, Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses (Treasury Department, IRS and DOL, March 20, 2020)
  • Pub. L. No. 116-127, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Congress, March 18, 2020)

Mercer Law & Policy resources

Other Mercer resources

About the author(s)
Related Solutions
Related Insights