The Short-Time Compensation program helps prevent layoffs by allowing employers to uniformly reduce affected employees' hours by 10 to 60 percent while permitting the employees to receive a prorated unemployment benefit.One of the suggested solutions from the Nebraska Department of Labor (NE DOL) during an employer conference call on March 24 with Nebraska Chamber and Nebraska businesses was using the Short-Time Compensation (STC) program. It is administered through Nebraska's Department of Labor. It is am employer-driven plan.
What is Short-Time Compensation?
The Short-Time Compensation plan helps preserve employees' jobs and the employer's skilled workforce during disruptions to regular business activity (such as COVID19) by reducing hours of work for an entire group of affected employees rather than laying off some employees while others continue to work full-time.
For the grain and feed industry, you could qualify groups as your operations personnel, merchandisers, administrative staff, etc. For more information on best practices, contact NE DOL.
The program provides a portion of a weekly unemployment compensation payment to affected employees whose workweeks have been reduced. Hours of reduction for a group need to be between 10-60% based on a 40-hour workweek. If hours are reduced more than 60% the employee qualifies for unemployment.
Why Choose to Participate?
As an employer, you can reduce employee work hours to reflect decreases in business demand, retain your skilled workers, and avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees when business demand increases. You are able to determine the current production demands and the employees share the work as part of your STC plan.
Employees benefit from avoiding the hardship of full unemployment and continue to earn a portion of their regular wages while receiving some unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
Submitting the Plan / Plan Follow-Up
After the plan is submitted and approved, employers would need to submit weekly certifications that contain the information requested by the commissioner for the duration of the plan and notify the NE DOL if there were any changes to the information submitted.
The NE Dept. of Labor does ask that if you decide to use Short-Time Compensation please let your employees know so that employees don't also try to file which will help them reduce duplications in the system.
More Information about Short-Time Compensation