By Brent Addleman | The Center Square
Implementing a paid family and medical leave program in Vermont is taking steps closer to becoming a reality.
The Department of Financial Regulation has approved coverages and rates for the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan, Gov. Phil Scott said Thursday. The Hartford, a private insurance carrier, has been selected to deliver and administer the program.
“This is an important step as we move forward with Vermont’s innovative paid family and medical leave program,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “Within two years, every working Vermonter and employer will have access to this affordable program without relying on a mandatory new tax. It truly will be a win-win.”
According to a release, state employees will be rolled into the program on July 1, which is part one of a three-phase program.
Under the program, according to a release, employees will be eligible for up to six weeks of paid family and medical leave benefits at 60% of the average weekly wages. The program can be used for an employee’s serious health condition, bonding with a child, or providing care for a family member.
According to a release, employers could expand upon the baseline benefit if they choose.
“I am very pleased with the timely review and approval of The Hartford’s filing on the part of my staff to keep the Vermont Voluntary Paid Family Medical Leave Program on schedule to meet the Phase I implementation date,” Kevin Gaffney, commissioner at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, said in a statement.
One Phase I has been completed, The Hartford and Vermont will collaborate to educate and promote Phase II, which is employer groups of two or more, for a July 1, 2024, implementation.
“The department expects to receive a product and rate filing for Phase II of the program later this year with a goal of approving those programs by year-end 2023”, Gaffney said in a statement.
The program, which is voluntary in nature, will give employers in the state the opportunity to tailor the program to suit their needs.