What to do if a former employee files for unemployment

When a former employee files for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits, you have the opportunity to supply information to the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) regarding the reason the individual is now unemployed.

However, you must respond to DEW within 10 calendar days of receiving notification that a former employee has filed for unemployment in order to prevent him or her from wrongfully receiving UI benefits.

If the department does not receive a response, DEW assumes the individual is unemployed through no fault of their own. An employer that fails to respond to a separation request may experience increased benefit charges and higher unemployment insurance taxes.

There are three ways you can respond to a separation request: the South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS), the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) or by mail.

If a complete response requires supporting documentation such as copies of warnings, violated company policy or a letter of resignation, attach the supporting documents to your response. If you are filing online and are unable to attach files via email, simply mail or fax your attachments to the address or number listed on the form.

  • Responding through SCBOS If you are registered online with the South Carolina Business One Stop (SCBOS), you will receive the Requests for Separation Information Form (NET-101) by email. Simply click reply, fill out the form and press send.
  • Responding through SIDES If you do not have an account with SCBOS or you usually submit information by mail, you can use a free secure electronic system called the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) E-Response. This application allows you to respond to information requests, attach documentation and receive a date-stamped confirmation receipt.

Since SIDES E-Response is a nationally standardized format, you can communicate with multiple states in which you do business.

Register for SIDES E-Response in South Carolina here. Once your account has been activated, you can access SIDES E-Response here. If you have questions, you can access the user guide or contact DEW at UI-email-ER-Registration-DL@dew.sc.gov.

  • Responding by mail If you are not registered with SCBOS or SIDES, you will receive a Request for Separation Information Form by mail. Submit the completed form within 10 calendar days and return it to the address of the local SC Works center printed on the form.

After DEW investigates the claim, it issues a written determination detailing its ruling on the claimant’s eligibility and on any point of law considered. If you disagree with the decision, you do have the right to appeal. Each determination letter contains detailed appeal rights and information. For more information regarding the appeals process, click here.

 

Take Advantage of New Hire Tax Credit

Businesses could be eligible for a tax credit when a new employee is hired.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program is federally funded program that could reduce your federal income tax liability when you hire unemployed veterans or individuals with documented barriers to employment.

Administered by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), the WOTC will provide businesses with a 40 percent tax credit on eligible employees’ first year of wages after they have worked 400 hours. Qualifying wage caps do apply.

There is no limit on the number of qualified new hires businesses can claim. The organization can receive a $2,400 to $9,600 credit for each eligible employees.

To take advantage of the program, simply complete and file the required paperwork. It either can be filed electronically or via the mail. However, requests must be postmarked or e-filed within 28 days of the employee’s start date. Forms can be found here.

Take advantage of the WOTC program, and increase your return on investment while helping targeted employees become self-sufficient and earn a steady income.

You can benefit from hiring within the following groups:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.
  • Columbia/Sumter Empowerment Zone / Marlboro County Rural Renewal Community residents.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation or Ticket-to-Work Participants.
  • Recently released ex-felons.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.
  • Disabled veterans who within in the last year were discharged or unemployed for more than six months.
  • Disabled veterans who within in the last year were discharged or unemployed for more than six months.
  • Unemployed veterans.
  • Veterans receiving SNAP.

For more information, contact S.C. WOTC Coordinator Laura Rushton at 803-737-2592 or laura.rushton@dew.sc.gov.

Important Upcoming Changes in State Law – Corporate Officer Exemption

Beginning January 1, 2015, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce will be implementing a new law regarding unemployment insurance coverage for corporate officers.

S.C. Code Ann. § 41-27-265 exempts corporate officers from state unemployment insurance (UI) coverage. However, a corporation may elect coverage of its corporate officers. The law only applies to officers of a corporation, and does not apply to other business entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs), sole proprietors or partnerships.

If corporate officers are covered by UI, the employer must report the individuals each quarter as employees and pay state unemployment taxes on their wages. Corporate officers that are covered by UI may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs and meet eligibility requirements.

More in-depth information and frequently asked questions are provided at dew.sc.gov/corpofficers.

Cheraw’s Schaeffler-INA Tapped Business of the Year by Workforce Professionals Group

An S.C. company was recognized nationally for making a positive impact on its workforce, industry and community.

The Cheraw-based Schaeffler Group-INA recently was named the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) National Business of the Year. This award honors business for supporting and using the state and local public workforce system.

The Schaeffler Group’s INA brand has operated for more than 40 years in Cheraw, where it employs almost 1,800 and is a community staple. The company, which produces precision parts for the automotive and advanced medical equipment industries, has collaborated with local and state agencies, workforce partners and high schools to enhance and expand the workforce.  It has worked with ReadySC, Northeastern Technical College, Apprenticeship Carolina, ResCare Workforce Services and SC Works to recruit and train its workforce.

It also supports the SC Work Ready Communities initiative and uses a variety of other SC Works services from job postings and applicant screenings to job fairs.

The company recently implemented new product lines in response to increased demand from auto manufacturers. Since the expansion was announced in 2012, the Cheraw campus hired 320 people, helping to lower the area’s unemployment rate, increase residents’ financial stability and contribute to the overall economic health of the community.

Everyone Plays a Role in Reemployment

With the steepest declining unemployment rate nationwide, South Carolina’s economy has bolstered in 2014. In fact, more South Carolinians are working than ever before, peaking most recently at 2,050,975 in May.

The successes of the state’s economy can be largely attributed to the businesses that call the Palmetto State home. Without the commitment to hire, thousands of South Carolinians would be unemployed and unable to support their families and themselves.

But did you know that in July alone, there were still 124,670 individuals unemployed in our state? Many of these are considered long-term unemployed or without a job for 27 weeks or more. The long-term unemployed comprise 82,000 jobseekers in South Carolina alone and 3.2 million jobseekers nationwide.

Untitled-2The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) offers a variety of job placement services. In SC Works centers across the state, the agency provides free skills development workshops and training opportunities to those who are eligible. Last year, DEW sent 5,643 jobseekers through training to upgrade existing skills or learn a completely new trade.

If you’re looking for that next great hire, DEW has a portfolio of interested candidates. In 2014, more than 200,000 jobseekers have searched for work using SC Works Online Services.

Let DEW play matchmaker and save you money by putting an unemployed person back to work. Here are a few of the programs DEW offers to businesses interested in hiring unemployed jobseekers with barriers to employment.

  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) – This incentive compensates you for time spent training individuals for customized skill sets. The reimbursement period varies by the specific skill set you are training for. OJT will pay up to 90 percent of your new hire’s wages for up to 26 weeks.
  • Federal Bonding – Provides six months of free insurance protection against concerns you have about an applicant’s background. This program is valued at an average of $5,000 per individual.
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – Hire an individual from a targeted population and save on federal taxes. You must submit your tax credit request within 28 days of the worker’s start date. Employees must work at least 400 days before the tax credit can be claimed. WOTC can reduce your taxes anywhere between $2,400 and $9,600.
  • Apprenticeship Credit – State tax credits can be claimed annually for up to four years on a registered apprenticeship. This incentive averages about $1,000 per apprenticeship per year.

Visit dew.sc.gov to learn more about how DEW can match you with your new hire and connect you to the right cost-savings resources. Together, we can reduce unemployment and improve the quality of life for thousands of South Carolinians.

Third Quarter Wage Reports Due, 2015 Tax Rates Arriving Soon

Third quarter 2014 Wage and Contribution Reports are due Oct. 31 for wages earned July through September.

DEW offers two convenient methods for employers to file online through either SCBOS or the South Carolina Automated Tax System.

DEW encourages all single account filers to use SCBOS. Filing with SCBOS will also allow you to pay your taxes electronically. Please call 803.898.5690 or contact the SCBOS Help Desk if you need assistance navigating through the SCBOS system.

Fourth Quarter 2014 Wage and Contribution reports are due January 31, 2015.

Tax Rate Notices Arriving Soon

The tax rates applicable for wages paid between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will be released during early November 2014. A Notice of Contribution Rate will be sent by mail detailing your individual tax rate. Remember, individual rates are based on an employer’s computed benefit ratio. The tax rate class assignment in the notice should be used for the full calendar year.

For more information, visit dew.sc.gov/UITax.

Operation Palmetto Employment Bridges Gap between Employers and Military Jobseekers

A new initiative is breaking barriers and helping South Carolina’s military community find jobs.

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Launched by Governor Nikki Haley and supported by the SC National Guard and the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, Operation Palmetto Employment (OPE) is a statewide initiative to help service members, family members and veterans find meaningful civilian careers.

Employers and business owners can benefit from OPE in many ways.

UntitledOperationPalmettoEmployment.sc.gov serves as a one-stop-shop for everything an employer needs to know when seeking to hire a veteran.

This online resource has taken the guesswork out of the equation and provides you with direct, statewide points-of-contact and the most efficient way to post jobs online.

There is also an employer toolkit filled with resources that can help you increase your return on investment, like tax incentives and apprenticeship programs.

If recruiting at a job fair is more your speed, let us know, and we’ll connect you to an upcoming event or add your job fair to the statewide job fair calendar.

For more ways to get involved, stay tuned for information about the Palmetto Military Employer certification program. This soon-to-be unveiled program will provide your business a great way to show off its commitment to hiring vets.

Visit OperationPalmettoEmployment.sc.gov and hire a hero today.

 

Celebrate Small Business Week with Free Training and Hiring Resources

To celebrate National Small Business Week, we want remind S.C. entrepreneurs and business owners about the variety of free resources available to save you money and help you hire and train employees.

The SC Department of Employment and Workforce’s (DEW) Business Services team is here to sharpen businesses’ competitive edge through funding opportunities and services. We know many small businesses may not have extensive human resources or training departments, so let DEW and SC Works fill some of those needs.

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Below are just some of the opportunities that potentially could save your small business thousands of dollars:

  • On-the-Job TrainingCompensates you for time spent training customized skill sets. Length of reimbursement varies by the specific skill set to be acquired. Up to 90 percent of new hire wages can be reimbursed for up to 26 weeks
  • Federal BondingSix months of free insurance protection against concerns you may have about an applicant’s background.
  • Work Opportunity Tax CreditsHire an individual from a targeted population and save on federal taxes. Tax credit requests must be submitted within 28 days of the worker’s start date. Employees must work at least 400 hours before the tax credit can be claimed. Tax liability reduction ranges from $2,400 to $9,600.
  • Apprenticeship CreditState tax credits can be claimed annually up to four years on a registered apprenticeship. Credits are $1,000 per apprenticeship per year.

Learn more about these resources as well as recruiting services at dew.sc.gov/businessservices.

 

South Carolina ranks in top five for business environment

The Palmetto State is the nation’s fifth best place to do business, according to recent rankings from a national publication.

South Carolina climbed three spots from last year’s ranking in Chief Executive magazine’s 2014 edition of Best & Worst States for Businesses. The rankings are based on what more than 500 surveyed chief executive officers think of a state’s tax and regulation environment, quality of workforce and living environment. South Carolina scored four stars in all three categories.

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One of the comments said: “South Carolina and Texas seem to be very pro-business, a good environment to start or bring a business to.”

Our state ranked just below neighboring North Carolina. Texas took the top spot, followed by Florida and Tennessee.

See the complete report on South Carolina here.

Businesses: Three easy ways to go green and save time

This Earth Day, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce has a few easy ways for your business to go green and cut down on stacks of mail and paperwork.

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  • Sign up for a free SC Business One Stop (SCBOS) account to file your quarterly Wage and Contribution reports, pay taxes and respond to requests for separation information. Learn more at scbos.sc.gov. You can also check out the free webinars offered to help you see SCBOS features in action here.
  • If your company has recently received a Wage Audit Notice, you can cut down on mail costs by responding electronically through SCBOS’ Internet Response Module for Employers (IRME). Simply logon to your SCBOS account, click “MySCBOS,” choose DEW BPC-Wage Audit Notice and verify your information. You can also have pending Wage Audit Notices sent to you via email to cut down on paperwork. Learn more about IRME here.
  • If you don’t have an account with SCBOS or you usually submit information by paper, you can use a free secure electronic system called the State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) E-Response. This application allows you to respond to information requests, attach documentation and receive a date-stamped confirmation receipt. Learn more here .