Last week, Governor Baker signed legislation (“An Act financing a program for improvements to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and providing relief to employers and workers in the Commonwealth”) that provides relief for employers and employees across the Commonwealth.
This bill will freeze the unemployment insurance (UI) experience rate schedule for employers in 2021 and 2022 and thereby prevent a more significant tax schedule increase. The bill also ensures that loans forgiven as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances, are excluded from taxable income for individual taxpayers. Please note this applies only to the 2020 taxable year. The bill also requires that employers provide a week of paid sick leave to employees that have become ill with COVID, are caring for a family member that has become ill with COVID, is receiving an immunization, or has to isolate due to COVID exposure, or is caring for a family member in quarantine. The Governor did propose two clarifying amendments on this topic for consideration by the legislature. Please find the bill text here.