Shared-Work ProgramIf 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 the workers 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.
A 2013 customer survey (PDF, 25KB) showed that the program is helping businesses stay afloat, and nearly 98 percent of participating employers would recommend Shared Work to other struggling businesses.
(You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the customer-survey PDF file. You can download this free software directly from Adobe.)
Special incentive to participate in Shared Work!The U.S. Congress was so impressed at the success of Washington’s Shared-Work Program that it passed legislation in 2012 encouraging all states to create similar programs or to make existing programs even more accessible. As an incentive, Congress agreed to have the federal government cover most of the cost of Shared-Work benefits from July 2012 through June 2015.
What does that mean for you, as an employer? It means benefits paid by the federal government will not be charged to your experience-rating account - and thus will not affect your tax rate.
- Shared-Work benefits are currently covering 92.8 percent of the benefit costs. That’s a pretty good deal!
Participation requirementsAny company, large or small, can participate as long as the company is registered in Washington for at least six months prior to applying for the program.
Your participating employees must be:
- Hired permanent and paid hourly;
- Eligible for regular unemployment benefits; and
- Able and available to work all hours offered by the Shared-Work employer.
The Shared-Work Program is not for slowdowns that are an expected part of an industry or business. The program cannot be used to support seasonal businesses during the off-season.
Reductions in work hoursThe work hours of your participating employees can be reduced by at least 10 percent, but not more than 50 percent to qualify for Shared-Work benefit payments. For example, the work schedule for an employee who typically works 40 hours a week can be reduced by at least 4 hours, but not more than 20 hours.
Length of planA Shared-Work plan can last up to one year. If your request is for less than a year, it still counts as your one plan for the year. In most instances, it is best to open a plan for the full year so it will be available if you need it.
Similarly, employees can receive up to 52 weeks of Shared-Work benefits in each one-year plan as long as there is a balance available. The weeks do not need to be consecutive.
AdministrationYou will deal directly and exclusively with the Shared-Work Unit in Olympia on all matters about your plan and your participating employees' unemployment claims.
The bottom lineThe Shared-Work Program saves you money and keeps your skilled work force intact.
Employees are spared the hardships of full unemployment and get more income than if they were fully laid off.download this free software directly from Adobe.
Select a link below to open a form, then select "Save As" to save a copy to your hard drive. If you prefer, place your cursor over the link and then right-click your mouse button to open the dialog window. Select "Save Target As" to save the document to your computer.
If you use Excel or PDF to complete the Shared-Work application packet, you can upload your application from the link below.
Instructions for uploading the Shared-Work form:
- Plan application packet (Excel, 35KB)
- Plan application packet (PDF, 135KB)
- Participant status change request (PDF, 33KB)
Contact informationFor assistance with your application or more information, call:
- 800-752-2500 (toll-free)
- 800-701-7754 (fax)
You also can email a representative of the Shared-Work Unit.