In an era of profound economic transformation, employment disruption and unemployment can have a stifling effect on our economic growth. Unemployment results in economic insecurity, lessens purchasing power in the community, and robs the employer of productive assets and financial resources.
The State of New Jersey recognized the seriousness of unemployment in its “Declaration of State Public Policy.” To protect workers against this hazard, the unemployment insurance (UI) program was established. Under this program, employers are encouraged to provide stable employment, and through the systematic accumulation of funds during periods of employment, provide for periods of unemployment.
Since the program’s inception in 1935, billions of UI tax dollars have been collected. The law now covers more than 90% of all workers. For over 50 years, the unemployment insurance program has helped millions of men and women weather individual financial difficulties that arise when employment is lost.
To the employer’s advantage, in addition to the stabilizing effect the UI program has on the economy, it also provides a mechanism that enables employers to retain experienced and valued employees during temporary layoffs. With a shortage of skilled workers, this is critical to the livelihood of many companies.
To be eligible for unemployment benefits, in addition to being involuntarily separated, an individual must be able to work and available for work. To protect workers who suffer loss of wages due to illness or accident, the Temporary Disability Insurance Program was established.
For workers and employers to continue to benefit from these programs, both must share in their responsibilities and costs.
This handbook provides a detailed explanation of the responsibilities and rights of employers subject to the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation and Temporary Disability Benefits laws.
Any questions or problems you may have about the information contained in this handbook should be directed to the appropriate office of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. A referral list of selected problem situations and the appropriate phone numbers appear in the Directory at the end of this handbook, which also contains a list of offices.
The information in this publication does not have the force or effect of law, rule or regulation.Handbook Guide
The handbook is divided into three chapters covering the most significant aspects of the laws governing the New Jersey unemployment compensation and temporary disability insurance programs: employer record-keeping, wage reporting and tax payment; and the benefit process as it applies to both claimant and employer. The Workforce Development chapter gives an overview of programs and services, including grants, available to employers.
The Forms Section indexes and provides samples of all relevant forms mentioned in the body of the text. This handbook also includes a Directory of pertinent offices in the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
We hope this handbook will help you, the employer, understand and comply with New Jersey’s unemployment and temporary disability statutes and regulations.