An alternative to layoffs.
The Work Sharing Program helps employers:
- Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs.
- Keep trained employees and quickly prepare when business conditions improve.
- Avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
The Work Sharing Program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced:
- Receive UI benefits.
- Keep their current job.
- Avoid financial hardships.
The Work Sharing program helps employers and employees avoid some of the burdens that accompany a layoff situation. For instance, if employees are retained during a temporary slowdown, employers can quickly gear up when business conditions improve. Employers are then spared the expense of recruiting, hiring and training new employees. In turn, employees are spared the hardship of full unemployment. For employers who must reduce their work force permanently, the Work Sharing program can be used as a means to avoid layoff.Work Sharing is flexible. Employees may be rotated so different employees have reduced hours and wages each week. The flexibility of the Work Sharing program allows the employer to determine which employees will participate in Work Sharing. In addition, the employer determines which week(s) will have hour and wage reductions. A Work Sharing plan is approved for a 12-month period. If the employer continues to require Work Sharing in order to avoid layoffs, an application may be submitted for a subsequent plan. Such a plan may be approved immediately after a prior plan expires if the application is received timely. A Work Sharing plan is not intended to be used for total layoffs during holiday periods. This would be in conflict with Unemployment Insurance Code Section 1279.5, which limits participation in the program to those employers who plan to reduce employees’ hours of work, in lieu of layoff, to stabilize their work force by a sharing of the remaining work.
What is Work Sharing?
Work Sharing is a program available to employers who reduce employee hours and wages as an alternative to layoffs. Employers may contact the Employment Development Department (EDD) Special Claims Office directly by calling 916-464-3343 for more information. Who may participate in Work Sharing? Any employer who has a reduction in production, services, or other conditions should consider the Work Sharing program for their employees as an alternative to layoffs.
California’s Work Sharing program was the first program of its kind in the nation. It offers an alternative to layoffs. For example, in many other states if a business with 100 employees faces a temporary setback and must reduce its work force by 20 percent, the employer has no choice but to lay off 20 employees. Under California’s Work Sharing program, an employer facing the same situation could file a Work Sharing plan with EDD reducing the work week of all employees from five days to four days (a 20 percent reduction). The employees would be eligible to receive 20 percent of their weekly Unemployment Insurance benefits.