Earlier this year, Governor Scott signed S. 11 into law, which included a COVID-19-Related Paid Leave Grant Program (the “Program”). The Department of Financial Regulation is administering this Program, which provides grants to employers to reimburse eligible costs of providing COVID-19-related paid leave to employees. While providing COVID-19 related paid leave is not mandatory, the Program is intended to provide some financial assistance to employers who choose to do so. After some delays, the grant application has officially opened. Quarter 1 applications will be accepted through January 15, 2023. Funds are available on a first come, first serve basis.
What Kind of Leave is Eligible for a Grant Award?
The Program creates grants to reimburse employers for the cost of providing COVID-19 related paid leave, if they choose to provide such leave. COVID-19 related leave includes the following:
1. Employee is self-isolating because the employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or tested positive for COVID-19.
2. Employee is self-isolating pursuant to the recommendation of a health care provider or a State or federal public health official because the employee has been exposed to COVID‑19 or the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
3. Employee is caring for a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, sibling, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child because:
(a) The school or place of care where that individual is normally located during the employee’s workday is closed due to COVID-19.
(b) That individual has been requested to not attend the school or the place of care where that individual is normally located during the employee’s workday due to COVID-19.
(c) That individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
(d) That individual is self-isolating pursuant to the recommendation of a health care provider or a State or federal public health official because that individual has been exposed to or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
4. Employee is attending an appointment for the employee or the employee’s parent, grandparent, spouse, child, sibling, parent-in-law, grandchild, or foster child to receive a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.
5. Employee is experiencing symptoms or caring for a parent, grandparent, spouse, child, sibling, parent in law, grandchild, or foster child who is experiencing symptoms related to a vaccine or a vaccine booster for protection against COVID-19.
How to Apply for the Grant
To apply for the grant, a Company will first need to create an account. After this, the following steps should be taken to ensure a complete and accurate application:
1. The first three questions of the application ask whether the Applicant (the employer) is eligible to apply for the grant.
1. The Applicant will then need to search for its EIN. If this is the first time using the grant portal, it is very likely that no match will be found. If no record is located, check the “Can’t find your Company?” box, and then click on the green “Add Company” button.
(a) If you click “Add Company”, a form will appear.
(b) After entering all the requested information, and then click the green “save” button.
2. After the business information is entered, Applicants should fill out employee information for each Vermont employee for whom paid leave time is being applied for reimbursement.
(a) To add information for more than one employee, click the “add” button in the top left corner.
(b) After information for all employees is entered, click the green “next” button.
3. After adding employee information, the Applicant must certify as to the Program eligibility of the paid leave time for each employee entered into the application.
4. The Applicant must then upload a completed and signed I.R.S. W-9 Form, and upload its most recent payroll tax filing reported to the I.R.S. For most Applicants, this will be their most recent I.R.S. Form 941.
5. Finally, the application requires explanation and financial documentation to show that the Applicant experienced a negative economic impact due to the pandemic. Multiple documents may be uploaded. Applicants must include a separate description of the economic harm and explain how the uploaded documents demonstrate this harm.
Grant Application Instructions:
Please contact Heather Hammond (email@example.com) at Gravel & Shea PC if you have questions or would like assistance.