Work Search and Registration Waiver Changes

Employer Verification When Claimants Return to Work

In order help more Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants transition back to employment quickly and meet employers' need for talent, the current system of waiving work search requirements for claimants who expect recall from their employers has been revised.

The following changes are the result of recent legislation and by DWD's commitment to connect claimants with new opportunity:

Work Search and Registration Waiver Changes: Key Highlights

Pre-June 14, 2015 Post-June 14, 2015
Work search waived through the end of the benefit year for claimants returning to work for an employer. Work search is waived for eight weeks after an initial claim is completed for claimants returning to work for an employer within that eight weeks. Claimants will be advised that work search waiver is applicable for only 8 weeks. If an employer does not plan to recall the former employee within the eight week time period, the employee is required to perform work searches immediately. In other words, if there is no return to work date within 8 weeks, an employee filing for unemployment benefits must begin their work search efforts on day 1; they will receive no work search waiver. There is no exemption to this rule for seasonal employees.

Claimants may receive an additional waiver of up to 4 weeks upon verification with the employer that the employee will return to work within 4 weeks of the initial work search waiver expiration. If return to work is not verified, claimants are required to search for work beginning with the ninth week.

The employer can verify the 4 week work search waiver extension by calling the UI Employer Line at 414-438-7705 or 608-232-0633.

All recall waivers are limited to twelve weeks.

The recall waiver period is reset based on each new or additional claim filed.
Work search waived for claimants who were still working for a customary employer, and they did not have to register with Wisconsin Job Service Work search is waived for claimants who are still working for a customary employer, but they must register with Wisconsin Job Service
Work search automatically waived for the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Work search is not automatically waived for the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's.
Work search waived without employer verification if a claimant was starting work with a new employer within 4 weeks. Work search is waived only after employer verification that a claimant will start work with a new employer within 4 weeks.

* Note: Department's definition of a customary employer: The claimant works for the employer for more than 4 weeks or the claimant worked full-time (at least 32 hours) during a given week.

These changes implement revisions to Chapter 126 and 127 of Wisconsin Administrative Code that the Legislature passed during their most recent session and DWD has set in place the technology and operational framework to carry out.

Claimants who expect recall by their employer may seek a waiver of the weekly work search requirement for an 8-week period that can be extended for a maximum of 4 additional weeks with verification from the claimant's employer. There will no longer be a work search waiver through the end of the benefit year for claimants expecting recall by a former employer, beginning with initial claims filed June 14, 2015.

Wisconsin had limited work search waivers to 12 weeks until the limit was removed in 2004, and waivers were in effect through the end of the benefit year. Restoring limits to the waiver reaffirms UI as a short-term program designed to transition UI claimants to new employment. There are several advantages for both job seekers and employers:

Employers may receive inquiries from UI claimants about the changes. More information about the work search waiver is available at http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/faq_waiver.htm.

Contact the UI Employer Line at 414-438-7705 or 608-232-0633 with any questions.

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