Vermont Employers Charge Relief due to Covid-19October 14, 2021
The Vermont Department of Labor has updated procedures for the relief from inclusion of Covid-19 unemployment insurance claims.
At a Glance
- If you are a Vermont employer who has benefit charges against your Department of Labor employer account in calendar year 2021, you may be eligible for benefit charge relief for those claims.
- Employers must apply directly with the Vermont Department of Labor by October 31, 2021.
- This application is specific to only unemployment insurance charges for months within calendar year 2021, and before the end of the Governor's declared State of Emergency, which ended on June 15, 2021.
The Vermont Department of Labor has updated procedures for the relief from inclusion of Covid-19 unemployment insurance claims on the employer’s state unemployment insurance (SUI) experience and future SUI tax rates.
Although COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief was automatically applied to employer SUI experience rates for calendar year 2020 (affecting employer fiscal year 2022 SUI tax rates), employers must apply for relief from COVID-19 UI benefit charges in 2022. This relief of UI benefit charges from an employer’s UI account applies only to COVID-19 UI benefits paid out during Governor Phil Scott’s declared state of emergency, which ended on June 15, 2021. (Vermont Department of Labor announcement.)
Employers that wish to apply for COVID-19 UI benefit charge relief for the period of January 1, 2021 through June 15, 2021, must do so on the Department’s website by October 31, 2021.
Business Information including the name of employer or business, VDOL seven-digit employer number, point of contact (name), phone number, and email.
- Claimant information for the individual(s) requesting relief of charges from, including the employee’s name and last four digits of their SSN.
- Clearly identify each month during 2021 the employer is seeking to be relieved of charges for.
- Demonstrate that the reason for separation still exists and meets the COVID-19 charge relief eligibility criteria.
Charge Relief Eligibility Criteria
STEP 1) To receive charge relief for 2021, employers must demonstrate that the reason for separation was directly related to one of the following COVID-19 related reasons:
- The individual voluntarily separated from employment due to a COVID-19 related reason.
- The employer temporarily closed (partially or fully) in response to a request from a public health authority with jurisdiction because of COVID-19, in response to a directive by the Governor or President related to COVID-19, or if the employer temporarily closed due to actual exposure of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- The individual (claimant) became unemployed because of a change or reduction in the employer’s operation at the claimant’s workplace as a direct result of the state of emergency, public health order, or public health directive.
- The employer temporarily laid off the individual based on a recommendation or request by a medical professional that the individual be isolated or quarantined.
STEP 2) To receive charge relief for 2021, employers must demonstrate that the employer meets one of the following rehiring requirements:
- The employer offered to rehire the employee within 30 days after the reason for separation no longer exists (e.g., restrictions were lifted on capacity, allowing a restaurant to return to full capacity, the individual was no longer recommended to isolate or quarantine).
- The employer can demonstrate that there was good cause for failing to rehire or offer to rehire the employee within 30 days after the reason for separation no longer exists.
The Department will investigate applications, as appropriate, and the employer must be able to provide evidence to satisfy both steps identified above in the event the Department requests information. Failure to provide sufficient documentation when requested will result in charges being reapplied to your experience rating account and may result in additional fraud penalties of up to $5,000 per employee, per application.
- New claims for COVID-19 UI benefits submitted after June 15, 2021 will not be eligible for this special UI benefit charge relief.
- Note that UI benefit charges applied to employer UI accounts after June 15, 2021, will not affect SUI tax rates until fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023).
Employers must submit the application and required information to the Vermont Department of Labor directly, Paylocity will not be submitting these on behalf of employers. All determinations will be made no later than March 31, 2022, to ensure employers can appeal the decision, if appropriate.
Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax and HCM partner.
This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.
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