Where can I find support for human resources?
For customers using our HR Services offerings, please contact your Paychex HR professional.
I will be furloughing some or all my employees. How will Paychex PEO handle this?
Consider leaving furloughed employees as active in payroll – we do not currently have a Leave of Absence (LOA) status that would apply to this scenario, so it is not recommended to place employees on leave.
If you offer PEO benefits, these will continue to be offered for active employees. See "I am furloughing my employees and keeping their PEO account active. What happens to their benefits?" for more information on the monthly Benefit True-Up process.
I will be running payroll in March/April, but it will include a lower employee count. How will the PEO handle this?
If you can process at least one payroll in April, the PEO account will remain open – then again into May, and so on. We will be as accommodating as possible. We understand this payroll may include significantly fewer employees than your typical payroll.
I have given my notice to leave Paychex PEO. What should I do?
We believe you will need us now more than ever, so our goals continue to be, showing value and retaining your business. Call us and give us an opportunity to talk to you.
As the end of a co-employment relationship is not a COBRA-eligible event, active employees at the time the PEO account is ended will not be eligible for COBRA.
I’m letting-go employees, what happens to their benefits?
PEO benefits for employees who are let go will run through the last day of the month in which they are let go. COBRA notices will automatically be sent within 14 days of the discontinued employment being entered in payroll. Example: if an employee is let go on 3/20, benefits will terminate on 3/31. If you self-retain benefits, you should contact your broker/administrator for direction.
I am furloughing my employees and keeping their PEO account active. What happens to their benefits?
If you leave the employees active and continue running payroll, benefits will remain active and you would be responsible for the missed premiums through the monthly Benefit True-Up process.
The March Benefit True-Up will run on 4/7 and deduct on 4/17. The April Benefit True-Up will run on 5/5 and deduct on 5/15 (and so on). You can determine if you will require employees to pay back missed premiums or if you will cover those costs. This would provide a “float” of the premiums while keeping benefits in place. This is the most common way to continue benefits for furloughed employees.
When I’m ready to rehire employees that were let go, would the benefits waiting period still apply?
If the employee is reinstated within 30 days of the date employment is discontinued, benefits are automatically reinstated without a waiting period, effective the first of the month following the date employment is discontinued to avoid a lapse in coverage. If there is a break in service of more than 30 days, the employee would serve a new waiting period.
Example: an employee is let go on 3/20 and rehired on 4/5; benefits would be reinstated 4/1, missed premiums would be deducted on the monthly Benefit True-Up statement, if applicable.
I will be reducing employees’ hours, potentially to below 30 hours/week. How will my benefits be affected?
You are responsible for determining Full Time (FT)/Part Time (PT) status, tracking changes to employee average hours worked and making updates to FT/PT status in payroll. Under the benefit plans offered through the PEO, if you change an employee from FT to PT, their benefits will terminate on the last day of the month in which the change is effective. An employee who works at least 30 hours a week is full-time under the PEO plan. A small dip in average hours worked does not necessarily require a change to FT/PT status. We recommended that you use discretion when making changes to an EE’s FT/PT status during this time. If you self-retain benefits, you should contact your broker/administrator for direction.
Keep in mind that Applicable Large Employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility (ESR) provisions have additional considerations. An ALE that utilizes the Look-Back Measurement Method must offer adequate and affordable coverage to employees determined to be full-time employees for the duration of the stability period or risk potentially being assessed a penalty if a full-time employee receives a premium tax credit when purchasing insurance in a government marketplace. An offer of COBRA coverage qualifies as an offer of coverage for ESR purposes but is less likely to be affordable under ESR provisions, putting the ALE at risk of an assessment.
Note: If employees don’t have enough gross wages to cover their benefit premiums, they will not be deducted. Premiums will be captured on your monthly Benefit True-Up statement. See "When I’m ready to rehire employees that were let go, would the benefits waiting period still apply?"
How will the pending regulations (Families First Coronavirus Response Act – HB6021, etc.) affect me?
We will continue to monitor the progression of regulations through development and enactment. We do not anticipate the co-employment relationship to have an impact on your requirement and/or ability to comply. You should determine if you are required to comply with any current or future COVID-19 regulations. Please work with your HR Coach on these matters.
Will PEO-sponsored short- and long-term disability plans work in coordination with any other pay (state disability, proposed PSL/FMLA, etc.)?
No, Short-Term Disability (STD)/Long-Term Disability (LTD) plans do not coordinate with any other benefits.
If I need to lay off my employees, would they still be covered for health insurance?
Termination and a reduction in hours are considered COBRA qualifying events. If employees are no longer be eligible for the group health plan because of termination or reduction in hours, they would likely be eligible for COBRA or state continuation of health insurance coverage. Note that in the case of a layoff that is intended to be temporary, employers should review their plan documents or speak with their account manager or insurance agent to determine if and how long employees may stay on their group health plan before coverage is terminated.
- If you process payroll through Paychex and you subscribe to our COBRA administration service, entering a termination in our payroll system will trigger sending your affected employees a notification from us of their right to enroll in COBRA or state continuation of coverage.
- If you don’t subscribe to our COBRA administration service, please consult your COBRA administrator for information on how to notify your affected employees.
- If you are a Paychex Insurance Agency client, please contact your account manager with any questions. If you are a PaychexOne, Oasis, or HROi client, please contact your HR representative with any questions. If you are a BeneTrac client, please contact your account manager or account executive with any questions.
How do I file a claim for unemployment insurance (UI)?
Eligible workers must file claims through their applicable state’s unemployment insurance website.
For information on state-specific eligibility requirements, how to apply for, and how to file unemployment insurance claims, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
What type of information do I need in order to file for unemployment benefits?
Specific information that is required to apply for unemployment benefits may vary by state, however, the information that is generally required includes:
- Up-to-date personal contact information
- Name and dates of previous employment
- Most recent paystubs
- Amount of any separation pay (severance, vacation, etc.)
- A specific reason for filing for unemployment
For more information, please visit your applicable state’s unemployment insurance website.
Is unemployment insurance a state or federal program?
Unemployment insurance is a shared state and federal program. Although each state has its own unemployment insurance program, all states abide by the same general guidelines set by federal law.
What is the typical turnaround time for a SUI Claim?
It generally takes two to three weeks to receive the first benefit check after filing a claim. Due to the increased number of claims filed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, turnaround times may be longer than normal.
Please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website or your applicable state’s unemployment insurance website for more information.
Is there a resource for my employees that describes where to go and how to file for unemployment?
Employees must file claims through their applicable state’s unemployment insurance website or by phone. We’ve created a state-by-state breakdown to help direct you to your applicable state’s COVID-19 resource pages.
Can my employees work partial hours and be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits at the same time?
Yes, employees working reduced or partial hours may be eligible to receive supplemental unemployment benefits. Eligible employees must meet specific state requirements before receiving unemployment benefits.
For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website, or check with your applicable state's unemployment insurance office or website.
Will Paychex be sending out updates on how to apply for emergency unemployment that might become available in the different states?
Yes, that’s why we’ve created a state-by-state breakdown to help direct you to your applicable state’s COVID-19 resource pages. These resources contain up-to-date information on unemployment insurance benefits, as well as general FAQs, on other programs available during this time.
What do I need to do to help my employees that were partially or fully laid off (temporarily or permanently) apply for unemployment insurance?
Any employee who has been partially or fully laid off (temporarily or permanently) should be directed to your applicable state’s unemployment website, with instructions on how to file an unemployment claim and what information is required. Our state-by-state breakdown was created to help direct individuals to their applicable state’s COVID-19 resource pages.
When partially or fully laying off (temporarily or permanently), it is important to remember that, when terminating an employee from the system, that the process is completed in a timely manner. This will help provide us with important information required to respond to unemployment claims timely and accurately. Such information includes the employee’s first and last day worked, job title, rate of pay and the reason for the separation.
Ensuring we have up-to-date contact information is also important when utilizing Paychex for administrative support with claims processing.
What is my Paychex PEO account number?
Paychex PEO account numbers are not provided to our clients. We understand that some states are requiring PEO account numbers when a claimant is filing, however, we advise employees to put “on file” when the account number is requested.
Is paid time off (PTO) considered disqualifying pay?
Disqualifying income varies by state. To determine what types of payments are considered disqualifying, please visit your applicable state’s unemployment insurance website.
The CARES Act now provides eligible individuals with an additional $600 a week on top of normal weekly unemployment benefits. Will this affect the unemployment assistance currently awarded to me by the state?
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program (FPUC) under the CARES Act provides an eligible individual with $600 per week in addition to the weekly benefit amount received from certain other unemployment compensation programs and is administered through a voluntary agreement between the state and the department. The cost of these additional $600 payments to eligible individuals is 100% federally funded and states may not charge employers for any of the FPUC benefits paid as to impact the employer's experience rating.
Are over-the-counter medications eligible for reimbursement through a flexible spending account (FSA)?
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications purchased after December 31, 2019, no longer require a prescription to be eligible for reimbursement through an FSA, Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), or Health Savings Account (HSA). The new CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act) passed on March 27, 2020, overturned the section of the Affordable Care Act that prohibited FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs from reimbursing expenses for OTC medical products. The new law also allows menstrual care products purchased after December 31, 2019, to be treated as qualified medical expenses. Menstrual care products include: tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, or other similar products used for menstruation.
The preceding information is considered accurate as of April 9, 2020, but is subject to change.
Where can I find training resources on COVID-19 for my company and employees?
We’ve added training courses to the Paychex Learning solution in Paychex Flex, including topics such as important precautionary and prevention measures, business continuity, and communication strategies.