“School’s Out: Navigate Unemployment Benefits During Winter Break”

As the holiday season approaches, students aren’t the only ones who have time off. Teachers, administrators and other school employees also get a break.

While temporary employees with a defined period of work may qualify for unemployment benefits, school employees in the state of Michigan do not fall into this category. Educational employers are protected by the Michigan Employment Security Act and are exempt from paying unemployment benefits during winter break.

In this case, what you don’t know could hurt you.

The Basics
Michigan Employment Security Act: School employees are not eligible to receive unemployment benefits during regularly scheduled breaks, also known as the school denial period, if they have reasonable assurance they will return to work. This includes spring break, winter break and even extends to the summer months.

House Bill 4452: Thanks to the bill passed in 2011, the Michigan Employment Security Act now applies to employees who are not directly employed by a school district. This includes preschool, private agency and charter school employees.

Exceptions to the Rule
Denied Work After Given Reasonable Assurance: If someone is provided reasonable assurance that they will return to their job and is not provided one at the start of the next school year or term, they are eligible for unemployment. But this is true only if they filed for benefits at the beginning of their time off and regularly reported to the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Additional Work: An employee who worked for another employer during winter break could be entitled to benefits during that time the following year based on their temporary employment at another job outside of the school district.

Labor Disputes: Although unlikely, if the start of the school session is delayed by a labor dispute, employees could receive unemployment benefits from the time the session was expected to begin until it resumes.

Here’s a tip: Keep up on logging unemployment charges to avoid overlooking a claim submitted by employees who don’t qualify for benefits. We know it’s easy to get bogged down and fall behind. Let us help. Our cloud-based software makes managing claims quick and easy.

Knowing the ins and outs of unemployment insurance notably reduces your costs. Not sure how to manage? Contact us today to learn how our software can help you avoid paying unwarranted claims and save you money.