May 9, 2013
For Immediate Release: May 9, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009
Businesses can report employee separation information online to the unemployment system
AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor has launched a secure website that allows employers to report information relating to the separation of employees to the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. “One of my priorities is making it easier and less costly for businesses to comply with government regulations,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “The E-Response program is a good example of how we can use technology to make government more responsive to the needs of job creators. Businesses and the state will save time and money.”
SIDES (State Information Data Exchange System) E-Response is a web-based interface that provides employers with secure online reporting of separation and wage information about individuals who may file for unemployment insurance benefits. Developed through a strategic partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor and state unemployment insurance agencies, the SIDES E-response website is accessible free of charge to any employer or third party administrator with Internet access. Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette described several benefits of the new system. “SIDES E-response is ideal for employers that have a limited number of unemployment claims. It reduces staff time, paper work and postal expenses plus the delays related to paper mail delivery in processing unemployment information,” she explained.
“Ultimately, SIDES will keep unemployment rates as low as possible by preventing payments to those who do not meet eligibility requirements,” Paquette added.
SIDES E-Response provides a nationally standardized and secure format through which employers and their agents can easily respond to unemployment information requests, attach documentation when needed and receive a date-stamped confirmation of receipt. Given the sensitive data exchanged between state unemployment agencies and employers and TPAs, SIDES has multiple layers of security and uses secure communication protocols.
Employers interested in enrolling or learning more should visit https://gateway.maine.gov/SIDES/sides . Employers with questions can contact an employer services specialist within the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation at 207-621-5120.
Congress is requiring all states to have laws in place by October 20, 2013, that would penalize employers who fail to respond timely to separation and related requests. The SIDES E-Response system makes it easier for employers to file requested information in a timely manner. SIDES E-Response requires a working Internet connection, an employer email address, and the employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and Maine Department of Labor account number (SEIN). Employers can also update email information at this same site. Once an employer enrolls and receives a personal identification number (PIN), all future requests for separation and wage information requested by the Maine Department of Labor will come to that employer via email from SIDES E-Response. Employers will no longer need to complete and return paper requests for separation information.
The Department of Labor administers Maine’s unemployment insurance system, helps ensure the safety of workers, provides workforce development leadership and vocational rehabilitation services throughout the state and collects and publishes research on employment data to support job growth.