UNEMPLOYMENT

Covered in this section

For Unemployed:

  • Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed, Independent, and Low Wage Workers
  • New Filing Schedule for Unemployment

For Employers

  • Work Share
  • Temporary Leave (furlough) vs Termination (layoff)
  • Steps for employers placing employers on temporary unpaid leave

Unemployment Benefits expanded to self-employed, independent contractors, and low wage workers  

Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor agreed to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks. If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, you DO NOT need to reapply at this time.
Unemployment Information and link to apply for unemployment: Unemployment
 
New Filing Schedule for Unemployment
Online Filing Schedule - Michigan.gov/UIA. Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8PM-8AM
  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule - 866-500-0017:
  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:00am - 5:00pm.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00am - 5:00pm.
  • Fridays (8:00am - 5:00pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window. 
For more information visit Michigan.gov/UIA.

Work Share
Michigan WorkShare Program is an Option for Employers to Bring Staff Part-Time, While Still Receiving State Unemployment and the Federal Unemployment 
Michigan's WorkShare program will pay part of your employees' wages through Michigan unemployment, and they can still be eligible for the $600 per week from the Federal Government through the end of July in Pandemic Unemployment Pay.
 
WorkShare allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours - while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and have the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a WorkShare plan. A plan must include a minimum of two employees, and an employer can have multiple plans. Part-time employees also qualify for this program. Part-time employees also qualify for this program.
 
Michigan's WorkShare program eligibility requirements expanded as a result of Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-57.
  • If business demand is down, employers participating in WorkShare can preserve their workforce while reducing hours and wages by 10 - 60%.
  • Waived the length of time requirement that employers must be in business.
  • Waived the requirement that employers have a current or positive balance with UIA.
For information about how to implement WorkShare go to:  
WorkShare - Restart. Retrain.
 
Temporary Leave vs. Termination
Due to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family and medical leave resources, employers are strongly urged to place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120-days as opposed to termination. There is no additional cost to employers, employees remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits through the state, and employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.

Steps for employers placing employers on temporary unpaid leave
  • Do not terminate the employee specify a temporary/indefinite leave with return to work expected that is within 120 days.
  • Do not create a contractual obligation to bring the employee back to work let the employee know that the situation is fluid and subject to change.
  • Provide the employee with a formal Unemployment Compensation Notice which can be found here: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/uia_UC1710_76109_7.pdf. Employers will need to provide their Employer Account Number and Federal Identification Number.
  • Communicate to the employee about their rights. Under Governor Whitmer’s recent Executive Order 2020-10, workers who are placed on leave or are unable to work because they are sick, quarantined, immunocompromised or have a Resource Guide for Businesses in the Time of Covid-19 unanticipated family care responsibility, are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Ensure employers are provided information on how to obtain unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Get each employee’s up-to-date contact information.
  • Let employees know if you will be putting updated information on the entity’s website or intranet, if applicable.
  • Appoint a single individual(or limited number of individuals)who will field questions and communicate that information to your employees.
  • Keep a tally of all questions and answers. Periodically share with employees.

The following resource may help you and your employees navigate the system and fulfill the requirements: