How the Shared Work Program Could Benefit Employers and Employees Mutually

May 7, 2020

By Katherine C. Campbell

 We have found the Shared Work Program to be very beneficial for employers and employees. The program allows employers to reduce hours by 10 to 40 percent. The employee receives part wages from his employer, an amount of state unemployment benefits that corresponds to the reduced hours, and the $600 weekly unemployment benefit through the end of July. As a result in most cases, employees are made whole. At the same time, employers are able to keep their employees close so they can be called back to work full-time when needed. The added bonus for employers is that participation in the Program does not impact their experience ratings.  

DWS has streamlined the process given the volume of applications they are receiving. This article provides an overview of how the program works and answers to frequently asked questions. 

  • The employer completes an application [link to application] and submits it to DWS via email.
  • DWS generally responds by email within 7-10 business days.
  • Once approved, employees submit applications for unemployment benefits. They can complete the paper application and return it to DWS by email. But DWS is encouraging employees to sign up for benefits online (click here). Because the online application is not created specifically for the shared work program, here are a few tips for employees:
  • The reason for separation will be shared work program.
  • The start date will be the date that the employee signs up for benefits, but DWS will back-date the claims to the date the company’s shared work program began.
  • Employers provide weekly certifications to DWS reporting the number of hours worked and any other work performed by the employee. DWS has suggested this new, simpler form for the weekly reports. Employers may create their own weekly report form as long as it includes employee name, social security number, original employee and employer signature, and a report as to work performed for another employer.
  • If the employee receives PTO or holiday pay or takes sick leave during the week, then it must be noted on the weekly form.
  • Holiday pay and PTO should be noted on the new weekly form and added to the hours worked
  • If an employee takes sick leave, a traditional weekly form must be completed for that employees so DWS can adjudicate whether the employee will be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Katherine C. Campbell is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Friday, Eldredge & Clark. She serves as litigation counsel for individuals and businesses in complex business and commercial disputes including employment claims, collective action wage and hour claims, and breach of contract matters. 

Disclaimer: The information included here is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for legal advice nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact one of our Attorneys.