An innovative resource that provides answers to employers on unemployment tax and claim issues is available from the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The new Employer Help Center is a one-stop online toolkit that uses plain language and clean design to answer employer questions and explain UIA programs.
Employers can access the new resource at Michigan.gov/UIAEmployerHelpCenter.
“The Employer Help Center will make it easier for employers of all sizes to understand their unemployment insurance responsibilities and learn about UIA programs that help businesses succeed,” UIA Director Julia Dale said. “This forward-thinking resource has been user tested by Michigan employers, who told us they are eager to use and share the tool. Especially popular is the use of plain language and clean design that saves time searching for the information they need.”
There are six categories in the Employer Help Center that empower employers to easily navigate UIA resources:
• Register Your Business: Also, how to authorize an account with UIA.
• Manage Employee Claims: How to handle disputes, fraud, and appeals.
• Submit Reports and Payments: How to keep up with tax rates, quarterly reporting, and payments.
• Manage Account Settings: Set notifications, update business info, and add users.
• Explore FAQs and Resources: Answers to common questions, helpful definitions, forms, and instructional resources.
• Contact UIA: Contact the Office of Employer Ombudsman (OEO) and other areas within UIA to address problems.
Individual sections feature a left-hand navigation menu of related topic areas so users can easily find the information they need. There also is a handy search function.
The Employer Help Center was developed in partnership with Civilla, a Detroit nonprofit design studio, along with input from the business community. Collaborative discussions between Director Dale, Civilla, and employers identified a need for a convenient, all-in-one resource center. The center should clearly explain an employer’s unemployment insurance responsibilities to support a state program that pays benefits to workers who lose a job through no fault of their own and increase awareness of the many staffing programs and resources UIA offers to employers.
Civilla’s research included multiple focus group discussions with 58 small, medium, and large employers as well as third-party administrators. Nearly 60 UIA staff from multiple UIA divisions and agency leadership provided insight during key aspects of the development process.
Employers involved in the development of the Employer Help Center were granted anonymity throughout the research and responded enthusiastically after seeing the finished resource:
“Before, I would scroll down a couple of pages, and say ‘forget it.’ This seems much more helpful. Where I need to go for my questions is clear. That’s really nice.” Added another: “I think it’s everything you need, and it’s digestible. … It looks good, and it’s easily understood.”
UIA’s partnership with Civilla also resulted in the UIA Claimant Roadmap, a six-step resource guide that uses simple language to explain how to apply for and understand unemployment benefits. Since its launch in August 2023, the UIA Claimant Roadmap is the most-popular resource on the UIA’s website, with more than 336,000 views. It can be found at Michigan.gov/UIAClaimantRoadmap.