Webinar Archive Now Available: IDES Offers Clarity to New COVID-Related Unemployment Law

  • Date Posted
    July 13, 2020
  • Category

UPDATE: The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has made available the July 8 webinar with its Chief Legal Counsel, Kevin Lovellette, who reviewed the new procedures and changes to current unemployment law, provided additional details about non-charging, and answered questions about eligibility changes pertaining to school district employees.

IASB is working with the IDES to offer clarity to districts on how unemployment insurance charges to school districts, as employers, are going to work with the recent reimbursements for COVID-19 adopted at both the state and federal levels.

Changes at the state level include the provision in HB 2455, now P.A. 101-0633, which allows “non-professional academic employees” at public schools to establish unemployment benefits during the summer months and any vacation breaks lasting a week or longer this year. This change in the law is limited to breaks that begin and end  between March 15, 2020 and January 2, 2021, and applies to workers in positions such as custodian, teacher’s aide, cafeteria worker, bus driver, security staff, clerical worker, etc. The change does not apply to “professional academic employees” such as teachers, counselors, principals, vice principals, and deans.
IDES has provided guidance for school districts, which includes a link to a form for administrators to voluntarily notify IDES of “professional academic personnel who have reasonable assurance to return to work in the next academic year.” This will assist the agency’s ability to process claims more expeditiously and accurately. The guidance also contains details about how school districts will be non-charged for COVID-19-related unemployment costs.
It is important for boards of education to be aware of the fiscal impact and procedures for budgeting purposes. IASB encourages board members to share this information with their administrators.