Short-Time Compensation for Employers
Launching in January 2023, The Short-Time Compensation (STC) Program is an alternative to layoffs for employers experiencing a reduction in available work. The STC Program serves a dual purpose of preserving employees’ jobs and an employer’s trained workforce. STC cushions the adverse effect of a reduction in business activity on workers by averting layoffs. The program also ensures that impacted workers will be available to resume prior employment levels when business demand increases.
Businesses must have an approved plan with WorkForce WV to be eligible for this program. In the event of a reduction in hours, employers must apply and be approved by WorkForce WV for employees to participate in this program.
Employers must reduce hours by at least 10 percent but no more than 60 percent of the workweek to qualify for this program. While receiving UC benefits under an STC plan, employees are not required to meet availability or work search requirements. However, they are required to be available for their standard workweek. Also, eligible employees must serve a mandatory unpaid “waiting week.”
The STC Program provides a prorated amount of the UC payment individuals would have received if they were fully unemployed. The STC application process must be initiated by the employer.
If an employee working 40 hours per week has their hours reduced by 20 percent (or one 8-hour day) versus a complete layoff, they will receive an adjusted unemployment payment. In this scenario, if the same employee is laid off and determined eligible for UC, with a weekly benefit of $270, through the STC Program, that employee could work 32 hours per week and receive a UC payment for the remaining 8 hours, resulting in a $54 payment plus their regular hourly wage from their employer.
Process For Employers to Apply
- To apply, go to uc.workforcewv.org and login.
- In order to apply, employers will need their employer account number.
The STC application is a two-step process, with the employer logging in weekly to verify which employees are eligible to receive STC. During this process the employer will select employees who are eligible to submit a weekly claim certification for that particular week and not select employees who are no longer eligible to be a part of the STC program (example: no longer employed).
It is important to note, no new employees can be added at this time. The second step is for the employee (claimant) to fill out an initial application and then complete weekly certifications.
Once the application is submitted by the employer, WorkForce WV will confirm receipt of the application and reserves the right to contact the employer in the event of additional questions. WorkForce WV will review and either approve or deny the application within 10 business days.
The employer may submit a plan for up to 52 consecutive weeks. Employees will be eligible for benefits for up to 26 weeks under the approved STC plan.
Employer Application Steps
Employers register for the STC program by logging into https://uc.workforcewv.org/consumer/ to register as an STC employer.
If the application is approved, the employer will receive an email notification with next steps, including instructions on how to log in using a username and password.
After approval the employer needs to:
- Notify employees about the STC program and employee next steps.
- On a weekly basis, the employer must:
- View existing list of employees/employee SSNs
- Select active employees from the list
- Certify each week that list of employees is accurate and up to date
Short-Time Compensation FAQ for Employers
If I choose STC (short-time compensation), must I use it for my entire business?
No. An employer may limit their STC plan to a specific department, shift, or unit. You may have more than one STC plan. The department, shift, or unit under an STC plan must have at least two participating employees without regard to corporate officers.
How many hours of work can be reduced in STC?
You must reduce hours by at least 10 percent and by no more than 60 percent.
Must the employees’ hours of work be reduced by the same percentage if they are in the same affected unit?
Yes. Each affected unit must have the same reduction percentage, but an employer may have multiple STC plans covering different departments, shifts, or units, and there may be different reduction percentages in different plans.
How long can my employees receive STC benefits?
Assuming an employee is otherwise eligible for UC, they may receive STC benefits until the STC plan ends or until the employee’s regular UC entitlement ends, whichever occurs first. The employee may be entitled to regular UC benefits following the conclusion of the STC plan if they do not return to normal work hours.
How long can an STC plan last?
An STC plan can last up to 52 consecutive weeks, however employees can only be paid for up to 26 weeks under the plan.
Can I terminate an STC plan?
Yes. An employer may terminate an STC plan at any time by providing written notice to the STC Unit. The STC Unit may also terminate a plan for good cause.
Can I lay off some of the workers participating in an STC plan and continue the plan with the remaining individuals?
No. You may not lay off any employees in an STC plan during the duration of the plan. All employees in the same plan must experience the same reduction percentage and all employees must be offered the same reduction percentage within the same week. Modifications of the reduction percentage must be submitted in writing and approved prior to the change.
Can I hire people and/or move staff from a different unit to the affected unit for the duration of the STC plan?
No. You may not hire in or transfer anyone to the affected unit.
I operate a seasonal business; do I qualify for an STC plan?
No. STC will not serve as a subsidy of seasonal employment during the off-season, nor as a subsidy of temporary part-time or intermittent employment.
What happens if an employee receives holiday, sick, or vacation pay?
To the extent that holiday, sick, or vacation pay is received for hours the employee would have worked under the STC plan, the employee’s eligibility for STC UC benefits would not be affected. However, if a participating employee works the number of hours determined under the plan and receives holiday, sick, or vacation pay for additional hours, their UC eligibility will be determined without regard to the STC provisions of the UC law. This would occur, for example, if an employee works 32 hours Monday through Thursday under a plan that call for a 20 percent reduction in the regular 40 hours work week, and then gets paid for a Friday holiday.
How are employee health and retirement benefits affected by my participation in STC?
If the employer provides health and retirement benefits under a defined benefit plan or contributions under a defined contribution plan, the employer must continue to provide those benefits to the participating employees under the same terms and conditions as though the hours of work had not been reduced or provided to participating employees to the same extent as other employees not participating in STC.
How are STC benefits charged?
STC benefits are charged in the same manner as regular UC benefits, that is, to each participating employee’s base period employers.
How do I begin the STC program?
The first step is for the employer to complete an STC Application.
Should my application specify which employees will be participating in the STC program?
Yes. The plan must include the name, SSN, normal hours worked per week, and the proposed reduction of hours per week for the employees in the affected unit.
How will I know if my STC Application is approved?
Employers will receive written notification of the decision within 10 business days. If approved, the plan will be effective on the mutually agreed upon date between the employer and the STC Unit.
What other responsibilities do I have after the plan is approved?
As an employer, you will be responsible for informing your employees of when to file their initial UC claim through the WFWV website in order to participate in the STC program. In addition, you will be required to log into your employer portal weekly and either confirm the prior employee list is still correct OR make changes and remove any employees who quit, refused work, worked their regular hours, etc.