More Connecticut employers are utilizing a program in the state that pays
partial unemployment benefits to employees working reduced schedules, the Hartford
Courant reports. About 50 employers are participating in the state's Shared
Under Shared Work, workers of enrolled companies can collect jobless benefits
at the percentage at which they see their work reduced, according to the newspaper.
For example, under the program, an employee whose schedule is reduced by 20
percent would be eligible for 20 percent of the unemployment benefits she would
have received if she were laid off entirely. Shared Work programs last for six
Shared Work's manager says interest in the program has jumped since the attacks
of September 11, 2001, with participation more than doubling. The newspaper
notes that employers facing reductions say they like the program because it
allows them to use an alternative to layoffs, and helps the firms retain workers
with valuable skills.
"The program is terrific, says Joseph Cullen, president of Iseli Co.,
a machine parts maker in Plymouth, Conn. "It's one of the finest things
the state has ever done."
Employers are charged for the benefits through their Unemployment Compensation
Benefits Fund accounts, according to the newspaper.
"Five individuals collecting 20 percent unemployment is the same as one
individual collecting 100 percent," Tina McQuiggan, who administers the
program, tells the newspaper. "Yes, employers are charged for the benefits,
but at a reduced rate. The system is designed to be as close to a wash as possible."