This employer handbook explains the Iowa Unemployment Insurance (UI) Program and the taxing procedures for employers.

This handbook is for informational purposes only and does not contain legal advice or have the effect of law or regulation. It is intended to be an introduction for employers to the general procedures under the Iowa UI Program. You should consult legal counsel for specific legal problems under the Iowa Employment Security Law.

Release of Information

Information obtained by Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) UI Division from any employing unit is strictly confidential and is not published or open for public inspection. Information in the possession of IWD that may affect a change in an employer’s account is made available to the affected employer and the employer’s designated legal representatives.

Confidentiality laws prevent IWD from discussing employer account specifics over the phone without verifying the caller’s identity. Callers will need to be able to answer questions regarding detailed information contained within an employer’s account before information is provided by the agency.

Individual information collected from employers by IWD UI Division will be released to employers and employer’s designated legal representatives upon request, and may also be provided to various federal and state agencies as required or permitted by federal and state law.

It should be noted that the case file and decision resulting from any appeal before the Department of Inspections and Appeals administrative law judge becomes public record.

Iowa's Unemployment Insurance Program at Work

The Iowa Employment Security Law, governing legislation for the state’s UI Program, benefits both the state and its citizens. It provides benefit payments to qualified individuals who are temporarily unemployed to help them meet expenses that cannot be delayed. Maintaining the purchasing power of jobless individuals also has a stabilizing influence on the state’s economy.

The law restricts payment of UI benefits to only those who are unemployed or working reduced hours through no fault of their own.  They must be able to work, available for work, and actively searching for work.

Employers do not make any deductions from the employee’s paycheck to fund UI benefits. Benefits are paid from a fund exclusively supported by a payroll tax levied on Iowa employers. The tax varies for employers and is primarily dependent on two factors:

  1. how the employer’s employment history compares to that of all other employers who are participating in the UI program
  2. overall fiscal condition of the UI Trust Fund

As part of IWD, the UI Division administers the state and federal UI programs. The UI Division is responsible for the maintenance of the UI Trust Fund which is UI contribution payments collected from employers.