Work Sharing Program
The Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program provides benefits to employees whose hours and wages have been reduced.
Employers can apply for the Work Sharing Program if reduced production, services, or other conditions cause them to seek an alternative to layoffs.
Benefits of the program include:
- Employers keep trained employees.
- Employers avoid the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.
- Employees avoid hardships that may come from being laid off.
- The program minimizes or eliminates the need for layoffs.
- The program can prevent layoffs in nearly all types of businesses or industries.
Employers must meet all the following program requirements to participate:
- You must be a legally registered business in California.
- You must 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.
- The employees' reduction in hours and wages must be at least 10 percent and must not exceed 60 percent.
- Employees' health benefits must remain the same as before their reduction in hours and wages occurred. Or, they must meet the same standards as other employees who are not participating in Work Sharing.
- Employees' retirement benefits must meet the same terms and conditions as before the reduction in hours and wages occurred. Or, they must meet the same standards as other employees not participating in Work Sharing.
- The collective bargaining agent of employees in the bargaining unit must agree to voluntarily participate in the Work Sharing Program, and must sign the application for Work Sharing.
- You must 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.
- You must notify employees in advance of the intent to participate in the Work Sharing Program.
- You must identify how many layoffs will be avoided by participating in the Work Sharing Program.
- You must provide the EDD with any necessary reports or documents relating to the proper conduct of the Work Sharing plan.
- 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.
To participate in the Work Sharing Program, you must apply for a Work Sharing plan by completing and mailing the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF) .
All Work Sharing plans begin on Sunday. 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.
If you are an employer and need additional information on the Work Sharing Program, contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 916-464-3343.
If you are an employee approved by your employer to participate in the Work Sharing Program and have questions regarding your Work Sharing claim, contact the EDD Special Claims office at 916-464-3300.
- FAQs – Work Sharing Information for Employees
- FAQs – Work Sharing Information for Employers
- Work Sharing Employer Requirements and Criteria (DE 8686RQ) (PDF)
- Work Sharing Application (DE 8686)
- A Guide For Work Sharing Employers (DE 8684) (PDF)
- Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program Fact Sheet (DE 8714BB) (PDF)
- Layoff Alternatives
- Unemployment Insurance An Alternative to Layoffs: Work Sharing (DE 2329) (PDF)