The Shared Work program is an alternative to layoffs for employers facing a temporary downturn in business. It allows employers to divide available hours of work among a group of employees instead of implementing a full layoff. These employees may then receive partial unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours.
The purpose of Shared Work is to avoid a layoff, not to subsidize wages. Shared Work can help employers avoid the difficulties that can go along with a layoff. If employees keep working during a temporary slowdown, employers can more quickly gear up when business conditions improve. This saves employers the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new workers and protects employees from the financial hardships of full unemployment.
Shared Work will increase your costs. If you are a taxpaying employer, your unemployment insurance tax rate will increase for the next four years as benefits paid out will be charged to your employer account. If you are a reimbursing employer, you will be billed for benefits paid to employees.