Paid Family Leave Grants for Small Employers

CALIFORNIA’S PAID Family Leave program allows California workers to take paid leave to bond with a new child (through birth, adoption or foster care) or to care for a seriously ill family member. While it’s great for the employee, that can sometimes leave the employer in a bind, particularly a small employer with just a few staff. Fortunately, small businesses can apply for grants of up to $2,000 per employee through the program.

The grants are designed to help small firms offset higher expenses they may face when an employee is out on paid family leave. Potential costs include cross-training an existing employee for an onleave worker’s duties, and hiring and training a new or temporary worker. California’s Paid Family Leave program provides up to eight weeks of partial wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off from work to:

  • Care for a seriously ill family member,
  • Bond with a new child (including newly fostered and adopted children), or
  • Participate in a qualifying military event.

The program is funded entirely by workers through State Disability Insurance payroll deductions. Employers are not required to pay the workers on leave.

Applying for a grant

Grants are available in the following amounts:

  • Businesses with 51–100 employees may receive up to $1,000 per employee utilizing paid family leave.
  • Businesses with 1–50 employees may receive up to $2,000 per employee utilizing paid family leave.

Grant Qualifications

  • Must employ between one and 100 workers;
  • Must be registered to do business in California;
  • Must be in active status with the office of the California Secretary of State;
  • Must have an active California Employer Account Number under which employees are listed for payroll.