The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFRCA) was passed into law on March 18, 2020. This policy has two components: 1) paid sick leave and 2) paid family leave for those who are affected by the virus. This law will officially go into effect as of April 1, 2020, with a current end date of 12/31/2020. It applies to most companies in the U.S. that have less than 500 employees on their team.

As this law will affect many Sapling users, we want to provide as many resources as possible to help ensure a smooth execution of the new policies. Our goal is to support your team members to find the best solution for their health and the business during this time. 


How to use Sapling’s Time Off module to stay compliant

If you are utilizing our Time Off module, the easiest way to manage the required new emergency paid leave is to create separate Paid Time Off policies that cover the new leave options: 

  1. Paid sick leave (details of exactly how this applies here

  2. Paid Family leave (details here

Note: The expanded Family and Medical Leave provided under the Act is a type of FMLA leave which entitles employees up to 12 total weeks of leave. Review the Department of Labor's FAQs for additional guidance on handling employees that have already incurred some of their Family and Medical Leave for the year.

Covid-19 Time Off Policy Settings

To create a new time off policy, navigate from Home > Time Off. Click “Add New Policy.”

Review the screenshots below for specific required settings for each Time Off Policy you create.

1. Basic Policy Information

  • *note: if separating the policies out based on sick vs. family leave, we’d recommend to call the first policy Covid-19 Sick Leave, and the other Covid-19 Family Leave. Be sure to select “No” when asked to display details on the calendar. 

2. Approvals

  • If you’d like a team member to approve this type of Time Off request, select them here. Otherwise, you can leave it to be auto-approved. 

3. Accrual Rate

  • Put in the max amount of hours based for the policy you are creating (for current policy credit limits, check here

4. Accrual Schedule

  • Double check the max accrual amount is the desired max amount of usable hours, starting accrual on the 1st of January for the full amount. 

5. Time Off Balances 

  • As this is a temporary policy, make sure any unused time will not rollover into the following period. 

Hit Save when complete.

Once the policy is created, you will need to upload the desired total credit balance to be available for your team members. 

To do this, run a report to pull all of your company emails. Export them to a spreadsheet, and add two data columns: Opening Balance and Effective Date. In the Opening Balance column, put the policy credit amount. In the Effective Date column, put the date in MM-DD-YYYY format (as policy goes into effect April 1st, we suggest the date to be 04-01-2020.) 

Lastly, upload the balances from the spreadsheet and turn the policy on. This policy will now be available for your team to use.


As always, we’re here for you. Please email any questions to!

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