The Michigan Work Share Program
In response to the economic havoc brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created Michigan’s Work Share program.
The Work Share program allows employees whose hours are reduced to maintain their job—at a reduced salary proportional to their reduced hours—and simultaneously collect a portion of state unemployment benefits. They are also eligible for the additional $600 in federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance made available by the CARES Act. The goal of the program was to help make it easier for employers to retain their workforce throughout the crisis and smoothly bring employees back fulltime once they can ramp up their hours again.
In order to participate in the Work Share program, business must comply with the following requirements:
- Employers may choose which employees participate in the program.
- At a minimum, two employees must participate in a plan (an employer can have more than one plan).
- Work Share plans may last for up to one year (52 weeks).
- The hours and wages of an employee must be reduced proportionally by a minimum of 10% up to a maximum of 60%.
- While part-time employees are eligible for Work Share, seasonal, temporary, and/or intermittent employees are not.
- If an employer’s employees are unionized, the employer must get approval for the Work Share plans from the collective bargaining unit representative.
- An employer may not make changes to the fringe benefits of employees participating in a Work Share plan.
Under Executive Order 2020-57, the program was expanded, making it possible for more employers to participate in Work Share. The expanded eligibility requirements include the following:
- If an employer’s business demand is down but they can still maintain their workforce while reducing hours and wages by 10 – 60% (formerly, the limits were in the 15 – 45% range).
- A waiver of a former requirement mandating that an employer must be in business for a certain length of time before becoming eligible to participate in the Work Share program.
- A waiver of a former requirements that the employer must have a current or positive balance with UIA.
For full details on the Michigan Work Share program, click here to visit michigan.gov.