Shared Work Program

The smart alternative to layoffs

If you are facing a temporary decline in business, the Shared Work Program offers you an alternative to laying off workers.

Instead, you can reduce the work hours of your permanent employees, and they can collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. This translates into immediate payroll savings and prevents the loss of your skilled employees.This informational video gives an overview showing how thousands of employers have used the program to:

  • Reduce payroll costs.
  • Retain their skilled employees.
  • Have flexibility during uneven workload periods.
  • Be able to react quickly when demand returns.

2015 customer survey shows the program helps businesses stay afloat. Nearly 99 percent of participating employers would recommend Shared Work to other struggling businesses.

Follow these steps to determine if Shared Work is right for you!

  1. Read the eligibility requirements.
  2. Call us at 800-752-2500 if you have additional questions.
  3. Apply now to get started.


The bottom line

  • The Shared Work Program saves you money and keeps your skilled workforce intact.
  • Employees are spared the hardship of full unemployment and get more income than if they were fully laid off.


Shared Work forms

Visit our Shared Work forms and publications library for easy access to downloadable files. 

An easy way to send documents to the Shared Work unit is to upload them directly


Contact information

Employer help: 800-752-2500 | Fax: 800-701-7754 | Email: sharedwork@esd.wa.gov.

Shared Work Program | P.O. Box 9046 | Olympia, WA 98507