Friday, February 28, 2014

Shared Work Program amendment approved by Kansas Senate

TOPEKA, KAN. - In an effort to ensure that the Kansas short-term compensation partial unemployment insurance benefits program continues to be available in order to help avert layoffs, the Kansas Senate this week passed a bill (SB 372) supported by the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) by a bipartisan vote of 39-0.

KDOL Secretary Lana Gordon states that the bill amends the short-term compensation program, also known as “shared work,” under the existing Kansas employment security law in order to conform to new federal requirements.

Short-term compensation is a voluntary program whereby employees see reduced hours of work and receive an unemployment insurance benefit payment to help replace their lost earnings. Many employers use the program as an attractive alternative to total layoffs.

“The short-term compensation program is a win-win for employers and workers,” said Secretary of Labor, Lana Gordon. “Employers are able to maintain their skilled workforce, avoiding the cost of rehiring and retraining their staff, and workers are able to remain attached to the labor market and continue to bring home a large portion of their normal earnings.”

The measure goes to the House of Representatives next. States are not required to have a layoff aversion program such as shared work, but due to federal mandates, if the legislation does not go into effect by August of this year, KDOL will no longer be allowed to operate the existing program.

“Though the State continues to see a decline in its unemployment rate, the short-term compensation program is a valuable resource for Kansas employers, particularly when faced with small, temporary declines in demand for goods or services,” noted Justin McFarland, Director of Labor Market Information Services.

Employers interested in short-term compensation can learn more at KDOL’s website at