LANSING – Governor Gretchen Whitmer has an idea on how to get Michiganders back to work.
Speaking Monday, Whitmer says her plan would involve providing a $300 per week bonus to specific employees that are going back to their previous jobs through the week of September 4. These payments are currently only available to employers participating in the Michigan Workshare Program, which means they will bring back people who had been employed with them.
Whitmer is working with the State Legislature to change the law in order to provide bonuses for any new employee hired by a business through a Workshare Program, not just those who had been employed by a business and are being brought back. The Governor says the plan is to use the $300 per week in unemployment benefits to incentivize people to get back to work, maximize a family's income and help employers fully build up their businesses and staff. The $300 is the same amount available to those who are unemployed because of the pandemic. Whitmer says this payment creates what she calls a false choice.
Under the Michigan Workshare Program, an employee who has wages and hours cut by a business can earn some of that money back that is lost through unemployment. Whitmer did not say when the program would start, how many people are expected to be eligible or any eligibility dates for those returning to work. More details will be released later this week. The State of Michigan says there are 764 employers currently participating in a Workshare Program, with over 2,500 total participating since March 2020.
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