How WorkShare works for employers

What you need to know about WorkShare.

Understanding WorkShare

Your employees continue to receive regular wages for the hours they work along with their WorkShare benefits.

During their participation in WorkShare, your employees:

  • Receive a percentage of their regular salary

  • If they work 80% of their regular work week, they receive 80% of their salary

  • Receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits along with their reduced wages

  • UI benefits are a percentage of their benefit rate equal to the percentage of the reduction in their hours. Each employee's benefit rate is calculated based on past earnings.

  • Receive a percentage of a dependency allowance under certain conditions

An allowance of $25 per dependent child is available for workers who are the main or sole provider for any children who are:

  • Under the age of 18

  • Over the age of 18 and incapacitated due to a mental or physical disability

  • Under the age of 24 and a full-time student at an educational institution

If a worker's hours are reduced by 20% and they have dependent children, they can receive 20% of the regular dependency allowance and 20% of their unemployment benefits. They also continue to receive their regular health insurance benefits.

If a worker has a part-time second job, WorkShare disregards much of those earnings before any deductions are made from the worker's WorkShare benefits.

WorkShare plan flexibility

The WorkShare plan is valid for 52 weeks. You can modify or cancel your plan any time.

  • Employers can have more than one plan at a time. Workers can only be on one plan.
  • All employees listed on your WorkShare plan must be permanent full-time or part-time workers. Seasonal and temporary workers are not eligible. Under WorkShare, the employer reduces workers' hours and their pay.
  • If you need to modify, extend, or discontinue your WorkShare plan, please contact the WorkShare department at (617) 626-5521 or at

Changing or discontinuing your WorkShare plan

  • You can terminate an approved plan at any time
  • The Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) can revoke a plan with good cause. Examples of good cause are:
    • Failure to comply with the assurances given in the plan
    • Unreasonable revision of the productivity standards for the affected unit
    • Conduct or occurrences that are intended to defeat the purpose and effective operation of the plan
    • Violation of the criteria on which the plan was approved

How WorkShare affects your unemployment insurance contributions

  • If your account reserve is positive, unemployment benefits paid to your employees under an approved WorkShare plan are charged the same way as regular unemployment benefits
  • If your organization reimburses DUA for unemployment benefits paid in lieu of contributions you will be charged dollar-for-dollar for the WorkShare benefits that are paid to your employees
  • If WorkShare benefits are improperly paid to your employees as a result of misleading or misrepresented information submitted by your company, your company will be liable for the repayment of those unemployment benefits

Worker specifics

WorkShare is voluntary and a worker can decline participation.

  • WorkShare can include salaried workers, as long as the employer reduces both hours and pay
  • Owner/officers of the corporation must be eligible to receive UI benefits in order to participate in WorkShare
  • By law, at least 2 employees must be listed on a WorkShare plan
  • The reduction percentage you show on the plan must be the same for each employee and between 10% and 60%
  • Your WorkShare plan can include a scheduled shutdown for up to 2 weeks
  • Once the WorkShare plan is approved, workers must work or be paid for the reduced hours stated on the plan each week
  • The employer has to report weekly income earned by the worker from their second job for each week that the WorkShare plan is in effect. Any wages that are in excess of $246 will be deducted dollar-for-dollar from the weekly WorkShare benefit payment.

Weekly benefits

The reduction percentage you outlined on your WorkShare agreement indicates your workers' weekly benefits.

Report any discrepancy in hours to the DUA WorkShare unit such as a worker working:

  • Fewer hours in a week than the hours listed on your plan
  • More hours in a week than the hours listed on your plan

If the workers did not work the set number of hours for a certain week, they can supplement by using other paid leave for a part of the week to make up for it.


Upon full layoff, the worker becomes eligible for their full weekly unemployment insurance benefit amount. The maximum benefit credit of unemployment insurance benefits will be reduced by the amount of WorkShare benefits they have received. Employers must report any layoff by noon on the Friday before the layoff. This way, affected workers get their full weekly benefit amount instead of the reduced benefit amount

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