Experts from a state program that helps employers prevent layoffs will host a meeting on Bainbridge Island this week to explain the program.
Speakers from the Employment Security Department’s Shared Work program will join members of the Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce to present information about how the program can prevent layoffs and keep skilled staff when business slows.
The presentation — “How Shared Work can help business weather tough times, keep good employees” — is planned for 7:30 a.m. Friday, April 24 at IslandWood.
The meeting is open to the public and registration is required on the chamber website http://www.bainbridgechamber.com.
Officials said the Shared Work Program offers businesses an alternative to laying off workers. Instead of letting workers go, employers may reduce the work hours for permanent employees, and the workers can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.
This approach allows businesses to weather downturns without losing skilled employees. It also gives workers an opportunity to keep their jobs part time while collecting unemployment benefits for time they are not working.
Officials noted that a 2014 customer survey showed that the program is helping businesses stay afloat, and nearly 97 percent of participating employers would recommend Shared Work to other struggling businesses.