The good news: In the past 3 weeks, a number of federal and state coronavirus relief efforts were created to help buoy vulnerable small businesses with less than 500 employees.
The bad news: there is a LOT to digest, and to act upon — quickly.
Over the past month, we’ve fast-tracked our efforts at Zenefits to:
-Source, digest and provide tips and tools to understand the new programs, on our
WORKEST news site.
-Connect conversation and questions in our online community, ClubZen
-Answer the most frequent and the toughest questions in our HR Office Hours
-And, importantly, we’re also updating our products to close the gap between the
availability of new relief programs and small business’ ability to apply for them.
Following, is a quick overview of how we’ve updated our products to help make it easier for our customers to take advantage of:
- The Payroll Protection Program (forgivable loan) — a total fund of $349 billion — is accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of June. As of this writing, the federal government is considering an additional $250 billion for this program.
- The Family First Coronavirus Relief Act — provides paid sick time and leaves of absence for small business employees and tax credits for their employers.
Get the RIGHT Data to Apply for the Payroll Protection Program
We know that time is running short for companies to apply for the massive federal $349 billion Payroll Protection Program loans. So, to make it easier to apply, we’ve created a calculator — available to all Zenefits Payroll customers — that uses the data from your past 12 months of payroll to calculate how much of a loan you could qualify for. Note: Companies on Zenefits Payroll that are less than a year old or those who’ve been running payroll less than a year, can also use this tool.
Further, our report pulls most of (and in some cases all of) the necessary data you need to provide on a PPP application, in one downloadable Excel sheet.
- New 12-month Payroll Report: “Coronavirus Emergency Loan”
This new report estimates how much you can borrow based on calculations directly from Zenefits Payroll. We pull in salary, wage, commission or similar compensation; payment of cash tip or equivalent; payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for dismissal or separation. We also pull in group health care benefits information along with retirement benefits like 401(k) and 403(b) along with tax information. For many companies this is all that is needed. However, some companies that have international employees or an outstanding amount of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020 may need to add additional information into the report our system provides. This information then can be sent in directly with the loan application.
Additional resources are listed at the end of this article, including the application itself.
You can learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program, if you are eligible for a loan, and how to apply here.
Families First Act: Enter, Track, and Ensure Payroll Tax Credits for COVID-19 Paid Time Off
The goal of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), otherwise known as Bill HR 6201, is to ease the burden of COVID-19 on businesses and employees.
Even though the end goal of this act is to help small businesses and employees, abiding by its guidelines and regulations can be extremely challenging. Many new things must be tracked, reported, and withheld in order to properly adhere to this bill and reap its full benefits.
Since the origination of this bill in mid-March, Zenefits has been working on the most optimal way for our small business clients to handle this in our system. Multiple product teams and engineers have spent countless hours reading, scoping and building an end-to-end solution, which is outlined below.
Zenefits supports and streamlines the management for this act in a number of ways, primarily from a time tracking and payroll perspective:
- Easy COVID-19 Time Entry
First, we have proactively added in the appropriate types of Emergency Paid Sick Leave categories directly into the Zenefits Time Off app for all customers’ accounts. Employees can choose from one of two new drop down time off options: COVID-19 Self Care or COVID-19 Family Care. We’ve also highlighted this with a yellow banner at the top of the Time Off app.
- New Leave of Absence Feature
The Leave of Absence tool has a prebuilt, template policy called COVID-19 EFMLA that admins can use to track their workers’ emergency sick leave taken to remain compliant with H.R. 6201 (FFCRA).
This tool also allows companies to create additional Leave of Absence policies. It will primarily function as a record keeping tool for your company. In order to make changes in ancillary products, such as Zenefits Payroll, Benefits Administration, and Time Off, use the guide here.
*This tool will need to be turned on by our team so if you are interested in using this feature, please reach out to your Customer Executive or Customer Manager. If you do not know who this person is, you can reach out to Customer Care at zenefits.com/support.
- Tax Credits in Payroll
Zenefits has also created three new COVID-19 earnings types in Zenefits Payroll. Amounts entered into these new earning types will automatically apply as a credit against all Social Security, Medicare, and federal income tax liability within the same calendar quarter.
Stay tuned for more product, service and content enhancements from Zenefits in the coming days and weeks. Our mission is to clear the obstacles you face in running and growing a small or mid-sized business. We are doubling down — especially in these gut-wrenching times — to help do all we can to also keep America’s entrepreneurs in business.
Note: Zenefits is not affiliated with, nor endorses, the financial assistance programs listed in this article. This article is for informational purposes only. We cannot advise on how to apply for any of the programs listed. Readers should consult the programs directly with questions or concerns.