Woodstock town coffers and employees will benefit from a state and federal program to provide unemployment assistance to municipal workers with reduced work hours due to Covid 19. Through a new program administered by the state Department of Labor, affected employees will receive regular pay for hours worked, about half their pay from unemployment benefits for hours not worked, plus $600 in weekly federal unemployment payments.
Some 17 employees are affected, town supervisor Bill McKenna said. Some will work 20 percent of their regular schedule, some will work 40 percent and some will work 60 percent, he said. With the added federal benefits, all will receive significantly more than their regular pay had they worked full-time, he said.
The town government will save about $4000 per week in payroll. “We’re optimistic this won’t be a terrible burden on the employees or on us,” McKenna said. All employees are expected to return to full-time employment eventually and their health insurance is unaffected.
The Department of Labor has expedited the unemployment claims for affected employees, who must certify their working situation online or by phone each week. Federal funding for the program runs out July 31. If it does not get extended, the employees will be put back on the payroll.