Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state has filed regulations for the implementation of New York’s paid family leave program.

The program, which is set to go into effect on January, 1 2018, would provide 12 weeks of paid leave to employees who seek to take care for a new child, a close relative with a serious health condition, or relieve the pressures created when a family member is called to active military service.

“New York enacted the strongest paid family leave plan in the nation to ensure that no one has to choose between losing a job and missing the birth of a child or being able to spend time with a loved one in their final days,” Governor Cuomo said.

The program will be available to full time employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks or part time employees who have been employed for 175 days by a covered employer. The program is mandatory for all private employers and public employers may opt into the program.

The policy will be phased in over a four year period beginning this upcoming January. The first year of the program will feature a maximum of eight weeks of leave at 50 percent of the employee’s salary. When the program is fully implemented in 2021, employees will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave at 67 percent of their normal salary. The program will be capped by the state average weekly wage.

The program is also designed to guarantee that employees will be reinstated to their job when their leave ends as well as the continuation of their health insurance. Employees will be subject to a 45 day notice prior to taking their leave.

More information on the program including the breakdown of the four year progression can be found here.