WorkShare allows businesses to reduce the hours of permanent employees, who can then collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. This translates into immediate payroll savings and prevents the loss of skilled employees.
WorkShare is a flexible solution - your company decides how to implement the WorkShare program to best meet your business needs:
- ►Where can WorkShare be implemented – it can be the entire company, department, unit or shift. Only permanent full-time or part-time workers are eligible. There is no limit to the number of participants. Each plan must have at least two employees.
- ►What percentage of reduction in hours is allowed – you can reduce employees’ work hours between 10 and 60 percent. It must be the same for each employee in the affected area. If you reduce hours by 20%, the affected employees will work 32 hours instead of 40 hours. The 20% reduction in wages will be supplemented through unemployment benefits.
- ►Can WorkShare be customized – you can have more than one WorkShare plan at the same time with different reduction in hours for different affected areas. However, employees cannot be on more than one plan at the same time.
- ►How long can a company use WorkShare – the start and end dates are entirely up to you within the 26-week plan period. The average WorkShare duration is 10 weeks. You can modify or cancel WorkShare anytime by contacting the WorkShare Department.
While employees are working reduced hours through WorkShare, you must maintain the same benefits, including health insurance and defined retirement benefits for participating employees.
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.