Working families group sets legislative agenda with focus on work sharing, education issues


By Jesse Wilsonstatehouse_logo_final-graybackground-003-1

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Institute for Working Family will push lawmakers next year to create a work sharing program meant to help companies avoid layoffs.

The group – a program of the Indiana Community Action Association – will also back workforce development and education proposals for the 2014 session of the General Assembly.

Work sharing is an unemployment insurance benefit that targets job preservation and allows businesses to retain their skilled workforce during times of temporary decreased demand. It gives employers an option to reduce the hours and wages of all employees or a particular group of workers instead of laying off a portion of the workforce to cut costs.

Workers with reduced hours and wages are then eligible for partial unemployment benefits to supplement their paycheck.

“Because work sharing is voluntary, employers can make decisions about participation in the program based on their unique circumstances,” the institute said Monday.

The institute said it will also focus on these areas:

-       Addressing the “cliff effect,” which occurs when families suddenly lose benefits become their household income increased slightly.

-       Providing more assistance to adult and part-time college students.

-       Shifting some basic education services and language education to adult- and community-based agencies.

-       Providing academic credit to adult students for significant work experience.

-       Maximizing on-the-job training opportunities.

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