ARPA & FFCRA: What You Need To Know

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) extends Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) from April 1, 2021, until September 30, 2021. Employers can still utilize the FFCRA tax relief voluntarily.

There are three new qualifying reasons for COVID tax relief. Those new reasons are in bold in the complete list below.

An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  • Is obtaining immunization related to COVID-19
  • is recovering from injury, disability, illness, or condition pertaining to COVID-19 immunization
  • is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test or diagnosis for COVID-19 and the employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or their employer has requested such a diagnosis
  • is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order
  • Has been advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns
  • is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  • is caring for an individual who is subject to the above reasons
  • is caring for his or her child if the school or place of care of the child has been closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions
  • is experiencing any other substantially similar concerns specified by the secretary of health and human services.

The American Rescue Plan also expands qualifying reasons an employee may take Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) leave to be the same as Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL).

  • The first ten days of EFMLA are paid, and the aggregate cap on wages increased from $10,000 to $12,000.
  • The EPSL bank is reset after April 1, 2021. If employees had previously exhausted their EPSL bank, they are eligible to use time again. Part-time employees will have their EPSL bank reset on a pro-rated basis.
  • The American Rescue Plan added a non-discrimination provision that prohibits an employer from obtaining tax credit in any quarter in which it favored highly compensated employees, full-time employees, or employees based on tenure when granting EPSL or EFMLA.

If you have any other questions regarding ARPA, FFCRA, EPSL, and EFMLA as it pertains to your business, please contact your HCC HR Representative or contact us at