WESTCHESTER, NY — On Wednesday, September 30th, Senator Shelley B. Mayer and the Westchester County Association (WCA) co-hosted an event with the NYS Department of Labor about the Shared Work program to help small businesses and their employees weather the current crisis.
The Shared Work program helps employers weather difficult business cycles by keeping employees on the payroll while allowing staff members to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits when working reduced hours. Employees are paid for the hours they work, and they receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for the balance of reduced work hours. The Shared Work program is especially suited to help small businesses during the Coronavirus Pandemic by keeping trained employees on staff during temporary business downturns, which allows businesses to gear up quickly when conditions improve.
Attendees also heard from Westchester business owner Donna Hager, Founder & CEO of Macan Deve, who used the program, and how the program was a crucial part in keeping her business successfully operating throughout the crisis.
As of September of this year, there are 3,058 employers statewide with active Shared Work Plans and 262 of those employers are in the Hudson Valley Region.
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Small businesses need all of the help they can get to survive the current crisis. The Shared Work program offers a smart alternative to laying off valued employees who hold a wealth of knowledge about the business’ work and operations. I am pleased to partner with the Westchester County Association and the NYS Department of Labor to let local businesses know about this valuable and innovative program offered by the NYSDOL. Thank you to Michael Romita, President & CEO of the WCA, and the dedicated staff of the NYSDOL for working with me to help small businesses. Special thank you to NYSDOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon for working to expand outreach about this important program especially suited to help small businesses during this economically challenging time.”
NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Many people think of the Shared Work program as an unemployment program, but we actually look at it as a crucial employment program that can help employers navigate the challenging economic times created by this Pandemic. This is a way for employers to prevent layoffs and retain their talented workforce by keeping New Yorkers employed during this public health crisis. Shared work will keep our workforce strong as we reignite our economy and build a better New York, and we encourage employers to take advantage of this vital program.”
Michael Romita, President & CEO of the Westchester County Association, said, “Hundreds of our regional businesses and nonprofits have used New York’s Shared Work program to manage short term downturns while helping their employees even before COVID-19. It’s a smart and responsible lifeline that is available right now. Thank you to Senator Mayer and the Department of Labor for sharing this information at a time when many businesses are experiencing a temporary decline in demand for goods and services. And thank you to Donna Hager at Macan Deve for sharing her experience.”
Donna Hager, Founder & CEO of Macan Deve, said, “The Shared Work program has been a huge help for us bridging a payroll gap. We were still working our way out of COVID-19 impacts when we exhausted our PPP funds. New York State’s program helped us keep critical staff, and without them at the firm today we could not deliver services to our clients. I am extremely grateful to our legislators, the NYSDOL, and the WCA for providing much needed leadership and solutions throughout this period.”
The Shared Work program benefits the employees by avoiding full layoff, retaining fringe benefits, receiving UI benefits in addition to pay from employer, and not needing to look for other work while in the Shared Work program.
As a smart alternative to layoffs, the Shared Work program helps small businesses by retaining valued employees who hold significant experience, having flexibility week-to-week as individual business climate adjusts, and being able to gear up quickly when conditions improve.
To learn more about the Shared Work program, visit: https://dol.ny.gov/shared-work-program-0.
Employers can call 888-899-8810, email email@example.com, or visit: https://dol.ny.gov/shared-work-employer-eligibility-and-application.
Employees can call 518-485-6375 or visit: https://dol.ny.gov/how-file-claim-under-shared-work-program.