Resources for Employers
Updated payrolling guidance for the summer and fall of 2021 (updated 6/11/2021):
The current guidance for employees working outside the U.S. has been extended for the summer and fall of 2021. Given that most students are expected to return to campus in the fall, stipend payments will resume their standard pre-pandemic processes.
This fall, changes are coming for employees working inside the U.S. but outside Massachusetts and California. Starting in mid-September, employees who work in full or in part from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, or Maryland will have taxes for these states (where applicable) withheld from their paycheck for the amount of time they work there. Employees’ Massachusetts state tax withholding will be adjusted accordingly. Students will need to keep their primary address updated in my.harvard.
Harvard continues to assess registrations in additional states during the return to campus transition. Until further notice, however, for employees who have relocated to a state not listed above and who do not change their work location to a state where Harvard is registered by mid-September, the expectation is that they will transition to a payrolling provider such as AllSource. Additional guidance and information for these employees is forthcoming.
- Harvard’s Payroll Processes Guidance has been updated for both international and domestic payrolling.
- A summary of the domestic changes planned for this fall has also been posted on the Central Payroll website; links to this information will also be posted on the main Harvard COVID site and HARVie.
Out of State Employees - Updated 5/7/2021
Harvard continues to work toward withholding payroll tax in the “commutable states” outside of Massachusetts: the other five New England states (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) and New York. Current Massachusetts regulations require employers to continue withholding Massachusetts tax from employees telecommuting from other states due to the pandemic; these regulations are in effect until 90 days after the Massachusetts state of emergency is lifted. At that time, Harvard will be prepared to withhold tax and administer benefits to employees working from Massachusetts, California, the other New England states, and New York. Employees working remotely from other states will need to return to campus, change their work location to a state where Harvard is registered, or shift to a payrolling provider, such as AllSource.
Harvard’s two cross-functional Payroll Working Groups (one focused on work in states outside of Massachusetts and one focused on work in international locations) have developed Payroll Processes Guidance for employees who have been approved for remote work during the state of emergency. The existing guidance will be updated in mid-May for summer and fall 2021, but no significant changes are currently anticipated. Below is a summary of the existing guidance.
Employees Working Inside the U.S. But Outside of Massachusetts
Current Massachusetts regulations, issued December 8, 2020, require employers to continue withholding Massachusetts tax from employees telecommuting from other states due to the pandemic; these regulations are in effect until 90 days after Massachusetts lifts its state of emergency. Accordingly, Harvard will continue to withhold Massachusetts state income tax for those remote employees until the regulations expire.
When the current Massachusetts regulations expire, Harvard plans to begin withholding payroll tax in “commutable” states; that is, the other New England states (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and New York, (Harvard will continue to withhold state income tax for employees working in Massachusetts and California). For employees splitting time between these states, withholding will be based on the percentage of work time spent in each state.
Employees working remotely from a location outside of these states will be required to either (1) return to the Harvard campus, (2) change their work location to a state where Harvard is registered for payroll, or (3) shift to a payrolling provider, such as AllSource. Harvard will continue to assess the need to withhold payroll tax and provide benefits in other states, although at this time, there are no immediate plans for expansion.
Business processes and a communication plan are under development for employees working in other states.
Employees Working Outside the United States
The current guidance for employees (faculty, staff, students, and researchers) working remotely from locations outside the United States is also expected to remain in place for the summer and fall of 2021. Under the current guidance, employees working outside of the U.S. must either:
- Delay hire date until they can enter the U.S., OR
- Take a leave of absence (unpaid or paid if eligible). Leaves require approval of HR or Academic Affairs Office, OR
Schools and units should contact their Global Support Services consultant as soon as possible and at least 8 weeks prior to the individual’s start date. Standard processing times to set up individuals on international payrolls are lengthy, and failure to provide sufficient notice and documentation in a timely manner may result in payment delays.
- In coordination with HR or Academic Affairs Office, hire or extend the individual via a Harvard Affiliate Office Abroad, Local Partner, or Professional Employment Organization (PEO).
COVID Guidance Specific to Harvard Departments updated 2/24/2021 (ARCHIVED):
Central Payroll has posted revised guidance outlining the spring 2021 payrolling processes. These processes apply to student workers whose primary work location is intended to be in Massachusetts but who are working outside of Massachusetts during the public health emergency. The updated guidance can be found on Central Payroll’s website
If a student employee will take a leave of absence in spring 2021 and has filed for the leave by the end of the fall semester, then the last day they are eligible to work is the last day of the fall term. If they will be enrolled in the spring semester or will not file for leave until the spring semester, they can continue to work in an active payroll appointment through the winter recess.
New employees located outside of the U.S. during the COVID emergency cannot be hired via payroll and must instead be hired through a Harvard affiliate, local partner, or professional employment organization (PEO)
In accordance with normal College policies, students who take a leave of absence are not eligible for student employment.
All "on-campus" student employment (where the student is working for a Harvard department and is on Harvard payroll) must be completed remotely.
Students who are living outside of MA due to COVID can be hired for remote Harvard positions.
Undergraduate students living on campus are not allowed to hold in-person positions due to the requirement not to leave campus.
Undergraduates may work up to a total of 20 hours per week during the academic school year. Every College student working in a College department will receive the same starting base pay, which is determined by Harvard College. Effective August 1, 2020, the base pay for student workers will be $15.00 an hour.