Illinois has finally implemented a workshare program that was passed into law in 2015.
IL-Workshare announced last week that it will be receiving a $4.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fully implement the program. Work-share laws, also known as short-time compensation, allow companies to avoid mass layoffs by reducing workers’ hours so they’re still employed, while also allowing them to receive partial unemployment benefits.
The grant is likely a reimbursement to the state after Illinois had to give back $4.3 million in federal funds in 2015 after former Governor Bruce Rauner failed to implement the program despite support from his business allies.
The University of Illinois Economic Policy Institute said in analysis this week that had the state properly implemented the program almost 7 years ago, the state would have likely saved between 43,000 and 124,000 jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Illinois NPR’s report, Illinois businesses could’ve saved a collective $1.2 billion in turnover costs from work-share in 2020.