Work share programs let businesses temporarily reduce the hours of their employees, instead of laying them off during economic downturns. Technically referred to as short time compensation, the goal of work sharing programs is to reduce unemployment.
Work sharing should not be confused with job sharing, which allows two part-time employees to share one full-time job. Instead, work sharing allows a full-time worker’s hours to be reduced, in lieu of laying off the worker.
Work share programs benefit businesses, workers and states. Businesses retain their trained workforce, for easy recall to full-time work when economic conditions improve. Workers keep their jobs instead of being laid off, and collect reduced unemployment benefits to partially replace their lost wages. States save money by paying only partial unemployment claims, instead of paying full benefits to laid-off workers.
Under approved work share programs, employees qualify for a percentage of unemployment benefits, equal to the percentage by which their hours have been reduced. For example, an employee whose hours are cut by 10% would qualify for 10 percent of the state’s established weekly unemployment benefit amount. While that does not fully replace the lost wages, the amount supplements a worker’s income until they are recalled to full-time work.
NCSL – State Work Share Programs
How to finance a state work share without federal dollars?
- Close corporate loopholes in the state sales tax
- Reallocate some of the $800 million wasted on border security
Code – Labor Code
Chapter – 215 Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program
Texas Workforce Commission – Shared Work
CEPR – States Could Save $1.7 Billion per Year with Federal Financing of Work Sharing
CEPR – Work Sharing: The Hidden Secret of Germany’s Economic Success
CEPR – Germany Has Outperformed the U.S. Because of Work Sharing
CEPR – Work Sharing – The quickest route back to full employment
Pew – States Risk Losing Millions of Federal Work-Share Dollars
Bloomberg – U.S. Work Share Program Helps Employers Avoid Layoffs
Bloomberg – Japan: Work-Sharing Will Prolong the Pain
AARP Public Policy Institute – Saving Jobs Through Work Sharing
NELP – A Breakthrough for Work Sharing
NELP – Seizing the Moment: A Guide to Adopting State Work Sharing Legislation After the Layoff Prevention Act of 2012
CLASP – Work Sharing An Alternative to Layoffs
AEI – Worksharing and long-term unemployment
AEI – Work-Sharing Could Work for Us
AEI – The human disaster of unemployment
Houston Chronicle – Hey, buddy, can you spare a work share?
NPR – Companies Implement Part-Time Layoffs
NPR – Unemployment Cure Could Lie In Job Sharing
New York Times – Work-Sharing May Help Companies Avoid Layoffs
Wall Street Journal – Cutting Hours Instead of Jobs
The Globe and Mail – How to make work sharing work for you
Brookings – Encouraging Work Sharing to Reduce Unemployment
Huffington Post – Japan: Recession Spurs “Work-Sharing” To Avoid Layoffs
Japan Times – Firms warming to work-sharing
NBER – Has Work-Sharing Worked in Germany?
Governing – Work-Share, Save Jobs
Canada doubles length of time employees can benefit from work-sharing program