What is WorkShare?The WorkShare Program is an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in workforce. It allows an employer to divide the available work or hours of work among a specified group of affected employees in lieu of a layoff, and it allows the employees to receive a portion of their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while working reduced hours.
Who should use WorkShare?While this program is very popular in difficult economic times, it can help businesses facing short-term slowdown at any time for:
- Manufacturers with a gap between projects or awaiting regulatory approvals,
- Professional service companies in between contracts,
- Retailers facing temporary slowdowns due to local construction or client turnover,
- Non-profits facing a slow fundraising cycle,
- Any business facing an unexpected change in business patterns.
What are the requirements for employers?
- Develop a WorkShare Plan for an “affected unit” of two or more employees.
- Reduce weekly hours of work and corresponding wages between 10-60 percent.
- Maintain health insurance and defined retirement benefits for employees participating in the WorkShare Plan.
- Must be up-to-date on UI contributions and have a positive reserve balance.
- Must be a Massachusetts company - may be a small, large, profit, non-profit, or a Government agency.
What are the requirements for workers?
- Participation is voluntary for employees.
- Must be permanent or part-time workers. Seasonal and temporary employees are not eligible.
- Must declare the income from any part-time work earned during the period of the Workshare Plan.
- Must be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in Massachusetts.