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The commonly unknown alternative to employee layoffs in the commonwealth

The goal of any successful business is to provide a great service or product at a competitive price. However, implementation of Covid-19 mitigation efforts to protect the health and safety of consumers and workers, has created unique challenges for businesses as they struggle to efficiently and safely operate while maintaining a profit. As a result, many companies have had to consider tough cost-saving measures, including employee layoffs.

Before laying off employees, consider how much layoffs will impact your business in the future. In addition to creating an economic hardship to employees and negatively impacting morale and productivity, it may also lead to added costs for recruiting and training new employees when business improves.

One of the hidden gems within Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation (UC) system is a program that helps employers retain employees during an economic downturn and potentially avoid employee layoffs.

Pennsylvania’s Shared-Work Program allows employers enrolled in the program to retain their workforce during a temporary slowdown and then quickly ramp up operations without the expense of hiring and training new employees. The plan allows an employer to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees by a certain percentage rather than laying off any employees.

Employees covered by a shared-work plan receive a percentage of their UC weekly benefit rate, while they work the reduced schedule, if they are otherwise eligible for UC. Through this program, employees can maintain a higher income than UC alone and keep their health insurance and supplemental benefits.

Numerous reasons to look into a shared-work program There are numerous benefits to the shared-work program. A company can often avoid a large-scale layoff, which helps keep productivity high, saves on wages and training costs, and helps maintain a well-skilled workforce. Employees benefit by maintaining their jobs, pay and company sponsored benefits. Applying for a shared-work program The application for shared-work is available online and does not take long to complete. Once the application has been submitted, the department will review both the employer’s UC tax records and shared-work application to determine eligibility for the program. If approved, the employer will coordinate collecting the materials needed from the employees to set up the UC claims. Get started by learning more, finding out if you’re eligible to participate in the Pennsylvania Shared-Work Program and start your application today.


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