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Shared Work Frequently Asked Questions


What is Shared Work?
Shared Work is a voluntary program that helps employers during business downturns by providing an alternative to layoffs. The Shared Work program preserves employee jobs and an employer’s skilled workforce during a disruption in regular business by allowing the employer to reduce work hours for an entire group of affected employees rather than laying off some while others continue to work full time. The program, which provides a weekly unemployment compensation payment to the employees whose work weeks have been reduced, cushions the adverse effect of the reduction in business activity on employees. It also ensures that these workers will be available for regular hours when business upturns.

How does Shared Work... work?
If business downturns are forcing you to look at reducing your workforce by 10 – 60%, the Department of Labor’s Shared Work program can help. Instead of laying off your permanent part or full-time employees, you cut hours and we pay partial unemployment benefits for the hours your employees have lost. Say an employee’s hours are temporarily reduced by 20%; in addition to a partial paycheck, the employee will get 20% of his/her regular weekly unemployment benefit. Shared Work has less impact on your unemployment taxes than a full layoff AND as an added benefit; you’re able to retain your skilled workforce. Your valued employees keep their jobs and benefits while collecting unemployment benefits to supplement wages.


100% Layoff
Unemployment Compensation

50% Work Reduction
Shared Work Compensation

$20 x 40 hours per week = $800

Total weekly UC payment $400

2 ½ days regular pay $400
+ Weekly Shared Work payment ________$200________

Total weekly income: $600


Under the Shared Work plan, the employee receives $200 of unemployment benefits in addition to the 20 hours of wages earned from the employer.  A difference of $200 a week with the SW program!



Who may apply for Shared Work?
All Connecticut employers whose taxes or reimbursements payments are currently up to date are eligible to apply for the Shared Work program.

Can all of my employees be involved with the Shared Work program?
Yes. The Shared Work program can include both full and part-time permanent employees. All employees must have worked at least 13 weeks before they are eligible to participate in the Shared Work program.

Why would my company be rejected from the Shared Work Program?
The Department of Labor, as administrator of the program, may reject a Shared Work application or deny an application for good cause.

What is "good cause"?
Good cause includes, but is not limited to, failure to comply with the assurances given in the plan, unreasonable revision of productivity standards for the affected unit, conduct or occurrences tending to defeat the intent and effective operation of the plan, and violation of any criteria on which approval of the plan is based.

Can an employer appeal the administrator’s decision?
The reasons for rejection or revocation are final; however, the employer may submit another application/plan for consideration and that determination would be made based upon the new data submitted.

What are the requirements for Shared Work?
The Shared Work program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Labor as part of the Unemployment Insurance Program, is available to Connecticut companies through special eligibility regulations. Shared Work participation must be in lieu of layoffs of an equivalent percentage of employees. An employee’s hours and wages cannot be reduced by less than 10 percent or more than 60 percent. The program can be applied to part or full-time permanent employees, but cannot be used to subsidize seasonal workers during the off-season. Employers must have at least two permanent employees participating and cannot eliminate or reduce the worker’s fringe benefits. All employees must be able to work and available for additional hours of work with the participating employer.

Who may be considered a "seasonal employer"?
A seasonal employer does not pay any wages to employees on a regular basis within one or more quarterly periods of each calendar year. A seasonal employer can also mean an employer who is in an industry in which it is customary to operate because of climatic conditions or due to the seasonal nature of such industry.

Is there a limit to the size of the employer’s workforce?
There is no limit as to the size of the employer; however, the affected unit must have at least two employees in order to participate.

What are ‘fringe benefits'?
Fringe benefits include, but are not limited to, health insurance, retirement benefits, paid vacation and holidays, sick leave, seniority accrual and similar advantages of employment.

What is an affected unit?
An affected unit is a specified plant, department, shift or other definable unit consisting of two or more employees to which an approved Shared Work plan applies.

Who does the plan cover?
The plan can cover the employer’s total workforce, a particular shift, or a specific unit. The plan only applies to employees who normally work for the employer submitting the Shared Work plan.

What does ‘usual weekly hours of work’ mean?
Usual weekly hours of work means the normal hours of work each week for an employee in an affected unit when that unit is operation on a full-time basis, not to exceed 40 hours.

When does the plan begin?
The plan must meet the requirements of the law and be approved in writing by the Department of Labor before it can take effect. All plans must be effective on a Sunday and will expire six months later of the respective Saturday. While the Shared Work plan is good for six months, all approved employers can apply for an extension upon expiration. All plans are only good for one year inclusive of the extension.

I have completed my application for Shared Work how do I submit it?
The best and quickest method is to fax it to 860.263.6681. If you opt to submit your application via U.S. Postal Service (or another carrier) please send the completed application to:
Connecticut Department of Labor
Attn: Shared Work Unit
200 Folly Brook Boulevard
Wethersfield, CT 06109

My company submitted an application two weeks ago; when will it be notified if the application is approved?
The Connecticut Labor Department will approve or deny an application, in writing, no later than 30 days once the application is received by the agency.

How long can an employee receive Shared Work benefits?
The employee can receive a maximum of 52 weeks of Shared Work benefit during a single benefit year.

What is an individual's weekly Shared Work benefit amount?
An individual’s weekly Shared Work benefit amount will be based off of their regular weekly benefit amount, including any dependency allowances (up to five dependents) multiplied by the percentage reduction provided by the participating employer.

Who gets charged Shared Work benefits?
Shared Work benefits are charged in the same manner as regular Unemployment Insurance benefits.

Can an employer apply for Shared Work if the employees are represented by a collective bargaining agent or union?
If any of the participating employees under a Shared Work plan are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, the Shared Work plan must be approved, in writing, by the participating employee’s collective bargaining representative. In the absence of any bargaining representative, the plan must contain a certification by the employer that such employer has made the proposed plan, or a summary thereof, available to each employee in the affected group for inspection and comment for a period of at least seven days. Copies of the memorandum to the employees and any comments received must be attached.

What if an employee works more than their scheduled reduction of hours?
The Department of Labor cannot pay Shared Work benefits to an individual for any week in which the individual performs work for the participating employer in excess of the reduced hours established under the Shared Work plan, unless there is a corresponding modification to the plan.

My company has applied for the  Shared Work program, but one of our employees also works for another company. Is that individual eligible for compensation even though they work another job?
Yes.  An individual who is eligible for Shared Work benefits shall be exempt from the work search requirements. In addition, an individual eligible for Shared Work benefits shall not be subjected to the partial unemployment benefits. Wages from another company shall be disregarded in the calculation of the Shared Work benefit.

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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