Considering a private plan?

To help ensure an optimal experience for employees, businesses can choose between the state-run plan, or a private plan for their CT PFML coverage. See below for more information to assist you in meeting your obligations as a Connecticut employer and requirements provide a private plan.

  • Connecticut’s program covers a variety of reasons for paid leave, including recovery time for an employee’s own medical condition, or caring for a family member. The program will also become one of the first in the nation to expand paid leave to organ and bone marrow donation.

    The CT PFML program:

    • Grants up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave within a 12-month period to most employees in the state, with two additional weeks for serious conditions resulting in incapacitation that occurs during a pregnancy.
    • Uses a broad definition of family member, which includes siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and people related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
  • All private employers with one or more employees working in Connecticut are covered employers under CT PFML.

    Employers exempt from participation include:

    • The federal government
    • The state or a municipality, a local or regional board of education, except to the extent their employees are “covered public employees”
    • Nonpublic elementary or secondary schools
  • A covered employee is eligible for benefits if they have earned at least $2,325 in wage in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters, and they are either currently employed by a covered employer and working in CT, or have been employed and working in CT within the last 12 weeks, or are a self-employed person or sole proprietor who is a CT resident who has enrolled in the program.

  • Eligible employees can take leave for the following reasons:

    • Bonding after birth, adoption or foster placement within the first year
    • Care of a family member with a serious health condition
    • Qualifying military exigency
    • Care for a covered family member (spouse, child, parent or next of kin) injured during active duty
    • To serve as an organ or bone marrow donor
    • Family violence related issues
    • Employee’s own serious health condition
  • Covered family members include spouses, siblings, children, grandparents, grandchildren, parents, or any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

  • Maximum Benefit Duration

    • Up to 12 weeks in any 12-month period for all qualified leaves, except for family violence leave, which will be up to 12 days.
    • Up to an additional 2 weeks available in a12-month period for a serious health condition resulting in incapacitation during pregnancy.
    • The total combined maximum weeks available will be 14 weeks within a benefit year (when the additional two weeks for incapacitation during pregnancy is applicable).
    • Leaves may be taken on a continuous or intermittent schedule.

    Weekly Benefit Percentage will vary based on an employee’s average weekly wages (AWW). The weekly benefit will be calculated as:

    • 95% of employee’s base weekly earnings that is equal to or less than 40 times the State Minimum Wage, and
    • 60% of the employee’s base weekly earnings that is more than 40 times the state minimum wage, up to the maximum weekly benefit.

    Maximum Weekly Benefit will be 60 times the state minimum wage. For 2023, the maximum weekly benefit is $840 for claims starting on or before May 31, 2023 and $900 for claims starting June 1, 2023 or later.

    • No Waiting Period is applicable. Benefits begin on the first day of leave.
    • Job protection is included for eligible employees for qualified leaves under CT FMLA.
  • Under the state administered program, the program is 100% employee funded through employee payroll deductions. While under a private plan, an employer may choose to pay some or all of the employee contributions, but an employee cannot be expected to more than the state allowable maximum contribution rate. Any remaining difference in premium due becomes the obligation of the employer

    • Maximum Employee Contribution Rate is set by the state annually.  For 2023, the rate is 0.50% of employee’s wages up to the social security wage cap of $160,200, for an annual maximum employee contribution of $801.
    • Benefits will be paid from a state fund generated from employee payroll deductions, unless an employer either purchases a fully-insured product from a private insurance carrier, or self-insures the coverage.
    • If an employer opts out of the state program, the private coverage they choose to provide must:
      • Be approved by the state of Connecticut
      • Meet or exceed the requirements of the state program
      • Be approved by a majority of the employer’s Connecticut employees (For more information on the vote requirement, contact your Guardian group sales consultant or broker)
      • Cost employees no more than the state plan
      • Ensure employees covered under a private plan are not contributing to the state Family and Medical Leave Trust Fund

    If an employer chooses to self-insure the coverage, the employer must also provide a surety bond approved by Connecticut.

  • The state of Connecticut requires the following:

    • Supply a Plain Language Guide
      • Provide your Connecticut employees with the guide at least two weeks in advance of the vote, to help them understand the differences between the state program and a private plan
      • Make sure the guide follows the state-required template. You are able to add items, but all state-required information must remain
      • Save a copy of your final guide to submit with your online private plan application with the state.
    • Host an employee vote on your private plan choice. The vote must meet these requirements:
      • The vote must involve all employees that work in Connecticut, even those who may be out on leave at the time of the vote
      • The majority of those employees must approve the private plan choice, or 50 percent plus 1 of the total number of Connecticut employees. This means that if you have 100 employees who work in Connecticut, 51 of them must approve the private plan choice
      • The vote must include just one “yes” or “no” question: “Do you approve the company’s private plan to provide benefits required by the CT Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Act?”
        • The vote results must be anonymous
        • The vote outcome must be shared with Connecticut employees
        • The state will allow you to use anonymous online voting methodologies
    • Submit Private Plan Application via their account, see Fully-Insured Application Job Aid
      • Upload the following with your application:
        • Copy of completed plain language guide your provided to your employees
        • Sample copy of the carrier’s approved CT PFML policy
        • Results of the Employee Vote
      • The state requires that the employer submits their application and obtains approval at least 30 days prior to the requested effective date, which MUST be on the start of a calendar quarter when moving from the state plan to a private plan
      • Private plan exemption application approvals will be required to be renewed every three years following the effective date of the initial approval
  • Starting July 1, 2022, employers are required to provide written notice about the CT PFML program to their employees at the time of hire and to their current employees on an annual basis. The notice must indicate:

    • Employees’ entitlement to benefits under the CT PFML Act
    • How the paid leave can be used
    • That employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for requesting, applying for or using paid leave for which they are eligible
    • Employees’ right to file a complaint with the state Labor Commissioner for any violations of their PFML rights

What is Guardian doing?

Guardian has a private plan option to assist covered employers in meeting their obligation to provide Connecticut PFML coverage.

Our product offering is fully-insured, state-approved and competitively priced. Plus, our digital capabilities can make administration easier – with online claims submission and access to bills, policies, and reports. 

You can count on:

  • Dedicated support to file a private plan exemption with the state
  • Assistance with adjusting Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) plan
  • designs to integrate with a PFML plan
  • A single point-of-contact for disability and/or paid leave claims inquiries
  • Experienced claims management by tenured professionals, including safe and effective return to work support
  • Updates on new regulations and ongoing guidance to keep you compliant

Guardian can help you manage it all

Effective employee leave management is key to ensuring your business remains compliant with state laws, helping you avoid costly fines.

Guardian has provided employers with statutory disability plans for more than a decade, taking a consultative approach to bring resources together for successful PFML plan implementation and management, no matter the level of complexity. Our management of PFML plans help ensure that any Human Resources team can meet the challenge of efficiently managing employee leaves while helping to ease administrative burden and enhancing compliance. Our plans are fully insured, state-approved, and backed by digital capabilities designed to help make administration easier.

Further, our Guardian absence management solutions can help reduce the administrative burden and enhance compliance with the integrated management of STD and LTD benefits, state and federal family medical leaves, and company leaves. Available to companies with 50 or more employees, employers can choose from a variety of plans and service options, including ADA support.

To learn more about Guardian leave management services, reach out to your Guardian group sales consultant or broker.

Our plans are fully insured, state-compliant, and backed by digital capabilities designed to help make administration easier.


Request a quote today


Links to external sites are provided for your convenience in locating related information and services. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agent and employees expressly disclaim any responsibility for and do not maintain, control, recommend, or endorse third-party sites, organizations, products, or services and make no representation as to the completeness, suitability, or quality thereof. Does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult your tax, legal, or account professional regarding your individual situation.

GUARDIAN® is a registered trademark of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. ©Copyright 2023 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

2023-152246 20250331