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Work Share Program


What is the purpose of this resource?

Enacted into law on January 6, 1988, the WorkShare Program allows workers in an entire company, a company department, or even a small unit within the company to share reduced work hours while also collecting unemployment insurance benefits to supplement their reduced wages. The reduction of reduced hours can range between 10% and 60%. Most employers reduce to a 32 hour work week (a 20% reduction).

What benefits or services are offered by this resource to employers?
 Allows employer to keep their trained, skilled staff.
 Reduces future rehiring costs.
 Avoids the disruption caused by layoffs.
 Helps employer remain poised for future growth.
 Allows employees to receive a percentage of their Unemployment Insurance benefits (UI) equal to the percentage of the reduction in hours and wages.

Who is eligible for these benefits and services?
 All Massachusetts employers are eligible to apply for the WorkShare Program.
 Workers eligible to receive regular UI benefits can participate in the program.
 Employer must be up to date with unemployment contributions, payments in lieu of contributions, and interest or penalty charges due to the DUA. If there is a negative Reserve Balance, an employer can participate as a “Reimbursable” employer.
 Employer must continue to provide the same benefits to affected employees (Health Insurance, Retirement, etc.).
 Employer must have a minimum of 2 employees on a plan.
 The decrease in the normal weekly hours must be shared equally by all workers in the unit or units that have been defined.
 Employer must certify that the reduction in work hours is in lieu of layoffs.
 Union approval is needed for employees covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).


Lessen the impact of a disruptive layoff!         





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