Erik Gunn

State’s Work-Share Program Prevents Layoffs

Part of new COVID-19 relief bill, allows employers flexibility, expands unemployment compensation.

By , Wisconsin Examiner - Apr 28th, 2020 11:55 am
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Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

Wisconsin’s revised Work-Share program is now up and running, enabling employers to schedule full-time workers as part-timers, while workers who lose hours can get unemployment compensation to make up for lost wages.

Language making it easier for employers to implement a Work-Share program was included in the COVID-19 relief bill passed and signed into law earlier this month.

On Monday, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) issued an appeal to employers to adopt a Work-Share program as an alternative to laying off employees in response to the economic downturn triggered by COVID-19 and the shutdown of many business operations in the state.

By implementing a Work-Share program that converts employees to part-timers until business picks back up, employers save money while employees continue to get health benefits from their employers and collect unemployment compensation pro-rated based on their reduced hours.

“By participating in the Work-Share Program, employers will be able to retain their trained staff during the times of reduced business activity, allowing them to be ready as soon as the business reopens,” DWD stated.

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act covers 100% of Wisconsin’s costs for paying Work-Share unemployment benefits through the end of 2020.

Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.

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