MADISON – The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is encouraging Wisconsin employers to participate in Wisconsin’s Work-Share Program to avoid worker layoffs.
The Work-Share Program, also called “short-term compensation” (STC), is designed to help both employers and employees. Instead of laying off workers, a participating employer can plan to reduce work hours across a work unit. Workers whose hours are uniformly reduced under an approved work-share plan receive unemployment benefits that are pro-rated for the partial work reduction. This allows everyone in the work unit maintain some income and their health benefits. By participating in the Work-Share Program, employers will be able to retain their trained staff during the times of reduced business activity.
Since March 15, DWD has approved 879 work-share plans covering nearly 33,000 participants.
Under the CARES Act, once an employer has an approved plan, the federal government will reimburse 100% of the unemployment benefits paid out from the employer’s account through the Work-Share plan through the end of the year. The employer’s future tax rates will not be impacted by Work-Share benefits paid to employees in the program during the effective duration of the CARES Act.
The COVID-19 relief bill that Gov. Tony Evers signed into law made several changes to expand access to the Work-Share Program that went into effect April 17. Employers and employees are encouraged to visit https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/workshare.htm to get the most up-to-date information regarding program requirements.