COVID-19 Work Share Programs

By March 23, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

Many states encourage employers to enroll in their Shared Work programs as an alternative to layoffs. These programs were developed to help employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business, such as the slowdown caused by COVID-19.

Shared Work allows employers to supplement their employees’ lost wages because of reduced work hours with partial benefits. With this program, employers can reduce normal weekly working hours for employees in an affected unit by at least ten percent but not more than forty percent.

Also, employees who have been cut back to working three or four days per week would not normally qualify for partial benefits because they have excess earnings. Shared Work benefits are payable to employees who qualify for, and participate in, an approved Shared Work Plan. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and unemployment benefits. Employees covered by the plan would receive at least one-fifth of their computed weekly benefit amount for each missed day of work. And finally, employees covered by the plan will meet able, available, and actively seeking work eligibility requirements by being available for their normal work week.

If the state has a program, the first step is for the employer to submit an application.  A list of states that have a current Shared Work, or similar programs can be found in the subsequent pages of this service bulletin.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your representative with any questions or concerns.

Downloadable PDF: COVID-19_Shared Work Programs_3-23-2020

 

Work Share Example
$500 – Average Weekly Salary
$250 – Approximate Weekly Benefit Amount
Days Worked/Money Earned Regular Benefits Work Share Benefits
Work 4 Days/Earn $400 $0.00 $50.00
Work 3 Days/Earn $300 $0.00 $100.00
Work 2 Days/Earn $200 $50.00 $150.00
Work 1 Day/Earn $100 $150.00 $200.00
Staff of 50 employees and reduction at 40%
Layoff 20 Employees – Potential Weekly Benefit Charge of $5000.
Reduce hours to 24 per week. Due to excess earnings, no partial benefits are payable for $0.00 charge.
Under approved work share program, all employees are entitled to 2 days of benefits for potential charge of $5000 per week.

 

 

Work Share/Short Time Compensation 
State Duration of Plan
(Before New Approval
is Required)
Required Reduction of Work Financing by Participating Employer Website
Arizona 12 months At least 10% but not more than 40% No special financing https://des.az.gov/services/employment/unemploymentemployer/unemployment-insurance-benefits-shared-work-program-faqs  
Arkansas 12 months At least 10% but not more than 40% No special financing http://dws.arkansas.gov/Employers/SWP.htm
California 12 months At least 10% but not more than 60% No special financing http://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/Work_Sharing_Program.htm  
Colorado 12 months At least 10% but not more than 40% Charged to employer’s account in same manner as regular benefits https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/layoffassistance  
Connecticut 6 months At least 10% but not more than 60% No special financing http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/progsupt/bussrvce/shared_work/index.htm  
Florida 12 months At least 10% but not more than 40% Participating employer’s maximum rate shall be 1% above current max applicable to other employers http://www.floridajobs.org/office-directory/division-of-workforceservices/reemployment-assistance-programs/short-time-compensation-program-foremployers  
Iowa 24 months At least 20% but not more than 50% No special financing https://www.iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov/voluntary-shared-work-program
Kansas 12 months At least 20% but not more than 40% Not applicable to negative balance and delinquent governmental and reimbursing employers http://www.dol.ks.gov/UI/swpempinfo_bus.aspx   
Maine 12 full calendar months
(after approval)
At least 10% but not more than 50% All worksharing benefits charged to worksharing employers
regardless of based period charging rule
http://www.maine.gov/labor/unemployment/workshare/  
Maryland 6 months Not less than 20%; not more than 50% (50% max may be waived by Secretary) No special financing http://dllr.maryland.gov/employment/worksharing/  
Massachusetts 26 weeks At least 10% but not more than 60% No applicable to negative balance employers, all others charged as regular benefits http://www.mass.gov/lwd/unemployment-insur/businesssupport/worksharing/  
Michigan 52 weeks At least 15% but not more than 45% None if full federal reimbursement; 50% of benefits paid if partial federal reimbursement http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,4680,7-118-1359_67679-352546–,00.html  
Minnesota 12 months At least 20% but not more than 50% No special financing http://www.uimn.org/uimn/employers/help-and-support/sharedwork/index.jsp  
Missouri 12 months At least 20% but not more than 40% Participating employer’s base tax rate can be as high as 9% http://labor.mo.gov/DES/Employers/shared_work  
Nebraska 12 months At least 10% but not more than 60% Charge to employer’s account in same manner as regular benefits https://dol.nebraska.gov/STC 
New Hampshire 26 weeks At least 10% but not more than 50% All worksharing benefits charged to worksharing employers regardless of based period or most recent employer charging rules http://www.nhes.nh.gov/nhworking/stay/index.htm  
New Jersey 12 months At least 10% All short-time benefits paid to individual shall be charged to account of the shared work employer http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/ea/empinfo/Shared_Work.html 
New York 53 weeks At least 20% but not more than 60% No special financing. Benfit charges are by dollar amounts not by effective days http://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/dande/sharedwork1.shtm  
Ohio 52 calendar weeks At least 10% but not more than 50% During federal financing, only the portion not reimbursed by the federal government. After federal financing, normal charging rules apply. http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocomm_root/0001InfoCenter.stm  
Oregon 52 weeks At least 20% but not more than 40% All worksharing benefits are charged to an employer in the same
manner as regular benefits or extended benefits.
http://www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Unemployment/Pages/Work-ShareProgram.aspx   
Pennsylvania 52 weeks At least 20% (with not less than two employees) but not more than 40% Charged to employer’s account(s) in same manner as regular benefits. www.uc.pa.gov/sharedwork  
Rhode Island 12 months At least 10% but not more than 50% No special financing http://www.dlt.ri.gov/ui/ws.htm  
Texas 12 months At least 10% but not more than 40% No special financing http://www.twc.state.tx.us/businesses/shared-work  
Washington 12 months or date of plan, if earlier Not less than 10% or more than 50% No special financing https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/shared-work  
Wisconsin 6 months or date specified in plan, if earlier At least 10% but not more than 50% No special financing http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uitax/workshare.htm 
1. For worksharing plans effective on or after July 6, 2014, the length of an approved plan is 12 months. For plans effective on or before July 5, 2014, the length of the approved plan is six months.
Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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