Oregan has incorporated a state program that provides an alternative to laying off workers.
The Work Share Program
How the Program Works:
Under the Work Share program, you reduce the workweek of your staff by 20% to 40% percent. Workers who qualify for unemployment insurance benefits receive both wages and Work Share benefits. Workers receive a percentage of Unemployment Insurance benefits equal to the percentage of the reduction in their workweek.
Example: an employer needs to reduce work hours by 20%. Instead of letting go one fifth of the work force, the firm reduces the hours of work for all its workers by 20%. An employee who works five days a week and earns $500 would now work four days per week and earn $400. If the employee in this example is normally eligible for $275 a week in unemployment insurance benefits, the person would receive $400 in wages and $55 in Work Share benefits for the week (20% of the $275 weekly benefit).
Advantanges and Disadvantages
A 2009 report in Workforce:
The report released Friday, March 27, says just 17 states have work-sharing programs, which allow employers to reduce work hours instead of jobs. States that have the programs have seen a spike in use, according to the study from the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
“Work sharing benefits employees and employers,” Neil Ridley, CLASP senior policy analyst and study author, said in a statement. “It allows employees to retain their jobs and benefits during tough economic times, it allows employers to retain their trained employees, and it reduces the number of people out of work.”
Work-sharing programs within the unemployment insurance system allow an employer to cut costs temporarily by decreasing the number of regularly scheduled work hours for the entire workforce or business unit, the report says. (full story).
Just maybe if more states look into this program there may be a possibility that the unemployment figures may decrease while at the same time provide families a way to stay employed during this economic crisis.