Transforming Unemployment to Reemployment in Wisconsin

Date: November 03, 2021

Legislation will soon be introduced that would change unemployment compensation from a program of the unemployed to one that encourages unemployed individuals to return to the workforce.


Senator Roger Roth (Appleton) said his proposal is “good for the employee, and great for the employer because they’re struggling to find workers … and the quicker we get people into jobs, the less they’re drawing on unemployment insurance and the more they are able to support their families and support our economy.”


Among the provisions of the proposal is a requirement by the Department of Workforce Development to provide UI claimants a list of specific positions they would need to apply for to satisfy the work search requirement and be eligible for benefits.


The goal is to provide people with assistance with finding customized jobs based on their specific skills, according to the bills authors.


The bill also would reward people who accept part-time work while receiving UI benefits.


The authors believe this will help employers access additional labor while allowing those receiving UI benefits to be attached to the labor market.


There are also incentives for employers to hire individuals who had their UI extensions end.


The proposal includes a requirement that UI claimants must submit to drug testing to remain eligible for UI benefits.


Representative Warren Petryk (Eleva), the Assembly author, said he was introducing the legislation because “as the state continues to battle the current workforce shortage, we need to make sure that all of our state’s benefit programs provide the necessary tools for people to successfully seek employment.”


Governor Tony Evers has some concerns regarding the proposal, while the Department of Workforce Development has “significant concerns.”


The proposal is being circulated for additional sponsors.


Related Content: Small Business News | Wisconsin

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