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Applying for Seasonal Worker Designation With the Unemployment Insurance Agency – Michigan

Did you know that any employer can apply for and obtain seasonal designation from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA)?

Employers must be approved as a seasonal employer by the UIA. This is a one-time request to obtain seasonal designation.

Who qualifies as a seasonal employer?

The employer must operate during recurring periods of 26 weeks or less in a 52-week period. The employer must also be a liable Michigan employer. The application must be received by UIA 20 days before the beginning of the seasonal period. If a new employer acquires an existing seasonal employer, then it is automatically granted seasonal designation. Please note, workers in the construction industry do not qualify as seasonal workers.

Can you have other workers outside the seasonal designated period?

Yes, you can have both types of employees working in your business. However, if you have employees that work for the entire year, then those workers cannot be considered seasonal workers.

What are some common types of seasonal employers in Michigan?

Examples of seasonal employers are:

  • Vegetable and berry farmers
  • Nursery and garden centers
  • Amusement and recreation services
  • Marinas during the spring and summer periods
  • Snow removal, ski lodges, and winter recreational employers during the winter months
  • Golf courses and tax preparation services

How do you apply?

The fastest and preferred method to apply is online through MyWAM. Once you’ve logged into your MyWAM account, select UI tax, then click the Account Services tab. Under Account Maintenance, select Apply for Seasonal Designation. Complete the form and submit. You can also apply by completing and returning the paper application form UIA 1155 Application for Designation as Seasonal Employer, which can be found on the UIA website.

The UIA will review your application and issue a determination for approval. If the seasonal designation is granted, you’ll receive a Notice to Workers of Employer’s Designation as Seasonal. This notice must be posted as required by law, informing the workers of their seasonal designation status. You can download copies of the forms from the UIA website to post on-site and provide to your workers.

Any Michigan employer can apply for seasonal designation, but remember, you must first apply to the UIA for seasonal designation. It’s not automatic. Unemployment claims for workers may be denied if they file for benefits outside of their seasonal designation period.

If you’d like to change the date of an already approved seasonal designation, you’ll need to submit a new application. One last thing to remember, seasonal employers that have seasonal employees must still file a tax report every quarter, even if they do not have employees working during the off season.

If you have questions about applying for seasonal designation, contact the Office of Employer Ombudsman at 855-484-2636.

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