Michigan UIA Work Share Program Alternative to Layoffs, Furloughs

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Restart Operations While Retaining Employees with Work Share

A Tool to Bring Employees Back From Unemployment

The Michigan Work Share program was launched following the first round of federal CARES Act in March. The program allows employers to keep their employees working with reduced hours, while employees collect partial unemployment benefits. Members have expressed concerns regarding recalling their employees currently collecting enhanced unemployment benefits — as well as options for reducing employee hours. Michigan Work Share is an attractive option the Chamber strongly urges you to consider.

As a result of Executive Order 2020-57, most Work Share program eligibility requirements have been temporarily suspended. Learn more.

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How to Apply:

Employers may file an application online through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM).

How to Apply Tutorial

For more information, call the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 1-855-484-2636.

What is Work Share?

During this global pandemic, we know that many Michigan businesses are faced with extremely difficult choices to make when it comes to their workforce. You may be struggling to reopen your business and
reengage your employees. However, with Work Share, you may not have to. Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours – while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and are given the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a Work Share plan.

 

How Does it Work?

With the Work Share program, a worker receives a reduced salary from an employer, but is given a percent their state benefits plus the additional $600 federal benefit through July. The reduction in work hours must result in an equivalent reduction in wages. Example: If a worker’s weekly wages are $1,000, yet the employer needs to reduce their salary/hours by 30%. Under Work Share, their weekly salary would be $700.00 ($1,000 – 30% = $700). Plus 30% of their state unemployment benefits ($362 maximum x .30 =$108), plus an additional $600 federal payment through July. With Work Share, the employee would earn $1,408/week through July 2020 vs. $962 without Work Share. As businesses are reopened, Work Share can help employers bring back their employees from unemployment faster and allows employers to retain their workforce and avoid layoffs.

Advantages of Work Share

  • Minimizes or eliminates the need for layoffs.
  • Enables a business to retain trained employees and avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees while business demand is reduced.
  • Saves money and keeps your skilled workforce intact.
  • Can be used in almost all types of business or industry.
  • Employees are provided partial unemployment to offset or replace income losses.
  • Allows you to restart your business as Stay Home restrictions are relaxed.

Who Can Participate?

Work Share Under Executive Order 2020-57

As a result of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order, Michigan’s Work Share program eligibility requirements have been expanded:

  • If business demand is down, employers participating in Work Share can preserve their workforce while reducing hours and wages by 10 – 60%.
  • Waived the length of time required that employers must be in business.
  • Waived the requirement that employers NOT have a previous history of layoffs.
  • Waived the requirement that employers have a current or positive balance with UIA.

Program Requirements:

As a result of Executive Order 2020-57, most Work Share program eligibility requirements have been temporarily suspended. Employers must meet and maintain the following requirements in order to participate in the Work Share program:

  • Employers are given flexibility to organize which employees are in a Work Share plan.
  • A plan must include a minimum of two employees.
  • Plans may be approved for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks.
  • Employee hours/wages may be reduced by a minimum of 10% up to a maximum of 60%.
  • Part-time employees are eligible, but Work Share does not apply to seasonal, temporary, or intermittent employment.
  • Employees must be eligible to receive state unemployment benefits.
  • Employer must obtain approval of any applicable collective bargaining unit representative.
  • Employers participating in Work Share cannot modify employees fringe benefits.

How to Apply:

Employers may file an application online through the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM).

How to Apply Tutorial

For more information, call the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 1-855-484-2636.


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