What is it?
The Work-Sharing program was created to reduce layoffs, during periods of decreased business activity outside of the employer’s control. Through Work-Sharing, employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits can receive income support, while they work a temporarily reduced work week until their employer recoups.
How do I apply to the Work-Sharing program?
Work-Sharing is a three-party agreement between the employer, employees and Service Canada. Employees on a Work-Sharing agreement must agree to a reduced work schedule and to share the available work over a specified period.
The employer and employees involved (and the union, if that’s applicable) must agree to participate in a Work-Sharing agreement. The employer can then apply to participate to the program. The application must be submitted minimum of 10 days (COVID-19 special measure) before the requested start date.
Temporary Work-Sharing special measures for employers and employees impacted by COVID-19
The following measures are effective from March 15, 2020 to September 24, 2022:
The temporary Work-Sharing Special Measures include:
- Maximum duration of an agreement has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks
- Prior to COVID-19, employers were required to submit application forms at least 30 calendar days before the requested start date. The number of days have now been reduced to 10 business days.
- Mandatory cooling off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement
- Reduce the previous requirements for a Recovery Plan to a single line of text in the application form (Box 25)
- Expand eligibility to employers affected by accepting businesses who have been in operation for only one year rather than two, and remove the need to provide sales/production figures at the same time, and
- Expand eligibility for staff who are essential to recovery, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and non-for-profit organization employers.
- Typed in names in the application form and the Work-Sharing agreement will work in place of wet signatures
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