S.C. Department of Employment & Workforce Introduces Recall Taskforce to Support the Restart of the Economy

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

“Welcome back to work, South Carolina,” was the introduction of a letter sent to South Carolina businesses and business associations last week from the Department of Employment and Workforce that introduced its Recall Taskforce. The Taskforce is one of the many resources the agency is offering
employers – and employees – as Gov. McMaster begins to reopen the state.

As the agency continues to help businesses understand the different federal funding programs available to the workforce and the eligibility requirements of each one, the Recall Taskforce’s role is to support the important transition from temporary federal funding to employment with long-term stability. The Taskforce also strives to ensure that individuals understand their essential role in returning to work, while providing guidance to those who still face challenges in returning to work.

“It is important for the overall economic health of the state that employers have employees ready and able to return to work,” said Dan Ellzey, Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. “We know that most workers will be relieved and eager to return to their jobs, but also understand that the restart may create difficult situations for some employers and employees.  We’re here to help and look forward to making the process run as smoothly as possible.”

In the last two months the state has experienced a swing from historic lows in unemployment rates prior to the pandemic to initial claim filings that have more than quadrupled the numbers of the Great Recession.

Now, the agency is preparing for return-to-work employment efforts as the Governor and his partners
through Accelerate SC make plans to reopen the state.

In addition, DEW is working with the State Workforce Development Board and the Local Workforce
Development Boards to map reemployment of workers as well as potential changes to the workplace due to the lingering influence of COVID-19.

“While our agency continues to process and work through the inordinate number of claims received in the past two months, the vast majority of the nearly 450,000 South Carolinians who have filed initial UI claims in the past several weeks are excited to get back to the work they were forced to leave when the pandemic hit.

Even as they do, we will continue to pay back-dated claims for those eligible an individual’s weeks of
unemployment. For those who are facing new and unusual challenges in returning to work, we will assist them through the process, answer their questions and determine whether they will continue to be eligible for UI benefits.

“The Recall Taskforce will work with employers to keep current records and maintain the integrity of the
funding programs. Employers will be responsible for notifying the Taskforce if an employee declines an offer of work, so that we can conduct the proper due diligence to determine that worker’s continued eligibility,” said Ellzey.

Employers are asked to coordinate with the Taskforce and provide information about declined employment offers by going to dew.sc.gov and clicking the Employers tab. This is where they will find information about the Recall Taskforce and Offers of Work.