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May 4, 2021

CT Paid Leave program collects $102M in 1Q

HBJ Photo | Steve Laschever Andrea Barton Reeves, CEO of the Connecticut Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority.

Connecticut’s Paid Leave Authority has registered 108,911 businesses and collected more than $102 million in first-quarter contributions, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday, exceeding official expectations on both counts.

The program — which will administer the expanded paid leave benefits for qualifying workers signed into law by the governor in June 2019 — had signed up about 87,000 companies midway through April and was aiming to boost that number to around 104,000 through stepped up outreach efforts. Actuarial projections initially put first-quarter contributions at $67 million.

“We are very pleased with the first-quarter results,” Connecticut Paid Leave Authority CEO Andrea Barton Reeves said. “The paid leave program has been fully developed during the pandemic, when many of Connecticut’s businesses were struggling just to survive. Business cooperation with this new process has been extraordinary and workers across Connecticut who will be eligible for paid leave next year will be the beneficiaries.”

The paid leave program is funded through a mandatory payroll deduction of half of 1% from employee paychecks. The window for businesses to register opened on Jan. 1 of this year and was initially set to close on Feb. 1, but that deadline was pushed back to March 1 to give the authority more time to raise awareness.

Among the late-joiners was the state of Connecticut, which enrolled its workers in April. State employees are expected to pay a “catch-up charge” until June 4.

Reeves said her team will now focus on identifying and reaching out to small businesses to boost compliance in that sector.

Paid leave benefits, which provide for up to 12 weeks of paid family or sick leave, will become available to qualified workers in Connecticut on Jan. 1, 2022.

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