Updated April 6, 2020:

First, I’d like to thank you for your patience and fortitude as we continue to navigate the recent legislative updates. Second, I’m pleased to share that Kronos teams have created additional, more robust content on how to configure your Kronos solutions based on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Even better, that content is now available in Kronos Community!

While the links to information about pay codes, accruals, and leave rules included below are helpful, the new configuration guidelines offer you even more details around adjusting important features — and all in one place. The guidelines above also link to relevant training courses if you need a refresher on how to accomplish the recommended configurations. While the FFCRA applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees, the configuration change guidelines may equally benefit all employers who are considering the organizational impact of the legislation and how to best implement the necessary changes. 


On March 18, the federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which makes substantial changes to employee leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and to sick leave. These changes take effect today, April 1, and will remain in effect until December 31, 2020.



Who does this affect and why?

It’s important to note that the paid leave provisions apply only to businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Employers with 500 or more employees should continue to monitor the situation and manage leave cases for COVID-19 similarly to how they manage other FMLA cases. Additionally, it will be important to track COVID-19-related paid time for accurate reporting and possible tax credits.  

How does FFCRA affect businesses?

At a high level, the recently passed legislation affects businesses in three ways. It requires employers to provide the following benefits:

  1. Paid family and medical leave for certain eligible employees; 
  2. Ten (10) weeks of paid sick leave; and
  3. Expanded unemployment insurance

To offset certain costs of these programs, the FFCRA provides that eligible employers may be entitled to tax credits for wages paid that qualify under the act.

Managing your workforce with Kronos 

Let’s start with the portion of the FFCRA that applies to FMLA. Currently, employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave. Under the FFCRA, for eligible employees, ten of those twelve weeks will have to be paid.  

An eligible employee is any employee who has been employed for at least 30 days and has to care for children whose schools have closed due to the coronavirus health emergency. The eligible employee must not be able to work (or work remotely) while caring for children.

The first two weeks of a normal 12-week FMLA leave may be provided unpaid, but employees can be paid (i) by using any accrued leave, sick leave, or vacation time that is available to them, or (ii) by using the paid sick leave provision of the FFCRA.  

Following the exhaustion of the initial two week period, employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave to any eligible employee.  

Businesses and organizations with 500 or more employees are expected to follow FMLA procedures and existing paid time off policies. Your Workforce Central® solution or Workforce Dimensions™ suite from Kronos is designed to capture the time taken against all pay codes with the necessary reports generated to track accordingly. Some additional steps are worth taking to ensure that your organization is prepared to manage a workforce through this unprecedented time and provide you with accurate reporting for greater insight.


Pay codes

Start by creating COVID-19-specific pay codes so you can track all paid time relating to the virus as well as have applicable pay codes for corresponding accrual and leave rules. It’s important for your payroll team to capture all paid time relevant to COVID-19 and report it accurately for tax credit application.  

How to set up a pay code


Then consider creating accrual rules that allow you to manage paid time off with the assistance of the new COVID-19 pay codes. Customers with fewer than 500 employees will want to track accruals against the new law by creating a one-time accrual with a grant of 80 hours of paid time. In most cases, your organization’s existing configuration will determine how new pay codes and accruals track time. 

How to set up accruals 

Leave rules

Finally, employers with fewer than 500 employees will want to create new leave rules that consider paid time cascades and deductions from the newly created COVID-19 accruals. However, your company may already have leave policies in place that can handle extemporaneous paid leave scenarios. If not, a new leave rule should be created based on existing configurations with the new COVID-19 leave types to track the time taken against this law. 

How to set up leave rules

Kronos Community 

Guidelines for configuration changes to create pay codes, accruals, and new leave rules are coming soon — and when they’re available, you’ll be able to find the information in Kronos Community in the COVID-19 Resource Center. Also, please join the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Discussion Group to stay up to date on the latest conversations about new challenges and how other customers are acclimating to the current situation.


NOTE: This communication is not intended as legal advice. Kronos does not represent the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this document.  Please consult your own legal counsel concerning the application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to your organization. For additional information, we recommend visiting the IRS or the U.S. Department of Labor websites. 

Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2020