The Work Share program offers an alternative to laying off employees. Under the program, instead of being laid off, employees work reduced hours and receive reduced unemployment insurance benefits. Employers wishing to participate in the Work Share program must develop a plan and have it approved by the state Employment Department.
Among the requirements for a Work Share plan are:
• The employees must qualify for unemployment benefits.
• The plan must cover at least three employees.
• Normal weekly hours of work and wages must be reduced by at least 20 percent but not more than 40 percent.
• Employees under the plan must have worked for the employer continuously for 6 months on a full-time basis or for 1 year on a part-time basis.
• The Work Share plan can last no more than 1 year (although a second plan may be filed right after an existing plan expires).
• Employees under the plan must be available to work for the employer.