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Surviving in tough times

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									Surviving in tough times
The Shared-Work Program

Bill McDonald Shared-Work Program Manager Employment Security Department April 23, 2009

Economic snapshot
• Record unemployment
▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ 8.5% national unemployment rate 13 million Americans unemployed 9.2% state unemployment rate 344,000 Washingtonians unemployed

Businesses feel the same pain
• Business production and growth are down. • Company closures are on the rise. • New layoffs announced daily.

Effects on business
• Lose skilled, trained workers. • Can’t ramp up quickly as business improves. • Forced to recruit and train new workers.

The Shared-Work Program
• Reduce the hours of your full-time employees. • Workers collect partial unemployment benefits to partially replace wages.

Benefits to business
• Retain your skilled workers. • Reduce your payroll costs.

• Avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring and training new employees when the economy improves.

Other “big” benefit to business
• Employee loyalty.

Participation
• Any company can participate
▫ Must be registered in Washington for six months.

• Any number of employees can participate. • Workers can collect up to 52 weeks of partial benefits. • The program is flexible to meet a variety of business needs.

Employee requirements
• Be full-time and hourly. • Worked for you at least 460 hours in the quarter prior to the quarter you applied. • Be eligible for unemployment benefits. • Be able and available to work all hours offered by the Shared-Work employer.

Important notes
• Shared Work is not for slowdowns that are an expected part of an industry or business.

• Program can’t be used to support seasonal businesses during the off season or companies that traditionally use part-time workers.

Business requirements
• Plan can last up to one year. • Employee hours must be reduced by at least 10%, but not more than 50%. • Health benefits must continue, if provided. • A company representative must be assigned to work with Employment Security. • Unionized companies must have collectivebargaining agent approve the plan.

The application
• Shared-Work applications are available on line at www.esd.wa.gov/business. • Eligibility decisions are made within 15 days. • If approved, your plan takes effect in two weeks or less.

Record participation
• 1,500 employers and counting. • 35,000 employees participating.

• Largest participation in 25-year history.

Department actions
• Added staff to process applications and to answer the hotline.

• Promoting the program more aggressively to help businesses and workers.

Bottom line
• The Shared-Work Program saves you money and keeps your skilled work force intact. • Employees are spared the hardship of full unemployment. • Learn more @ www.esd.wa.gov/business. • Or call 800-752-2500.


								
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