Employers Can Apply for the Work Sharing Program as an Alternative to Layoffs

Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs.

The Work Sharing Program helps employees whose hours and wages have been reduced:

  • Receive UI benefits.
  • Keep their current job.
  • Avoid financial hardships.

The Work Sharing Program helps employers:

  • Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs.
  • Keep trained employees and quickly prepare when business conditions improve.
  • Avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.

Requirements

To participate, employers must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be a legally registered business in California.
  • Have an active California State Employer Account Number.
  • At least 10 percent of the employer’s regular workforce or a unit of the workforce, and a minimum of two employees, must be affected by a reduction in hours and wages.
  • Hours and wages must be reduced by at least 10 percent and not exceed 60 percent.
  • Health benefits must remain the same as before, or they must meet the same standards as other employees who are not participating in Work Sharing.
  • Retirement benefits must meet the same terms and conditions as before, or they must meet the same as other employees not participating in Work Sharing.
  • The collective bargaining agent of employees in a bargaining unit must agree to voluntarily participate and sign the application for Work Sharing.
  • Identify the affected work units to be covered by the Work Sharing plan and identify each participating employee by their full name and Social Security number.
  • Notify employees in advance of the intent to participate in the Work Sharing program.
  • Identify how many layoffs will be avoided by participating in the Work Sharing program.
  • Provide the EDD with any necessary reports or documents relating to the Work Sharing plan.

Restrictions

  • Leased, intermittent, seasonal, or temporary service employees cannot participate in the Work Sharing Program.
  • Corporate officers or major stock holders with investment in the company cannot participate in the Work Sharing Program.
  • The Work Sharing Program cannot be used as a transition to a layoff.

Plan Application

Apply for a Work Sharing plan by completing and mailing the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF) .

The earliest date for a new Work Sharing plan to become effective is the Sunday before the first date you contact the EDD. All Work Sharing plans are approved for one year.

Employers can renew a Work Sharing plan by completing and mailing the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF). A Work Sharing plan will be renewed the day after your previous plan expires.

Note: Your plan application will only renew if it is submitted no more than 10 days after your previous plan has expired. Otherwise, your plan will become effective the Sunday before the date we receive your application.

Contact Us

Employers

If you need additional information on the Work Sharing Program, contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3343.

Employees

If you are approved by your employer to participate in the Work Sharing Program and have questions regarding your claim, contact the EDD Special Claims office at 916-464-3300.

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