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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

Work Sharing Program

The Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance program allows payment of benefits to employees whose hours and wages have been reduced. This program was established by the California legislature to help employers avoid some of the burdens that accompany a layoff situation and is considered an alternative to layoffs. Any employer who has a reduction of production, services, or other conditions that cause the employer to seek an alternative to layoffs can consider participating in the Work Sharing program.

Advantages of Work Sharing

Work Sharing Requirements

Employers must meet all program requirements to be approved by the Employment Development Department (EDD) to participate in the Work Sharing program.


Employers must provide the EDD with any necessary reports or documents relating to the proper conduct of the Work Sharing plan.

Work Sharing Restrictions

Work Sharing Plan Application

To participate in the Work Sharing program, employers must apply for a Work Sharing plan by completing and mailing a Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) to the EDD Special Claims Office. All Work Sharing plans begin on a Sunday. The earliest effective date for a new Work Sharing plan is the Sunday prior to the first contact date with the EDD. All Work Sharing plans are approved for one year.

The plan expiration date is listed on the notice of approval that is mailed to employers after their Work Sharing plan is approved. Employers may renew a Work Sharing plan, if needed, by completing the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686). The effective date of a renewed Work Sharing Plan is the day after the prior plan expires, only if the plan application is submitted no more than 10 days after the prior plan has expired. Otherwise, the plan effective date will be the Sunday prior to the date in which the application is received.

Contact Work Sharing

Employers: If you are an employer and need additional information on Work Sharing program, contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3343.

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

Additional Resources