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Employment Development Department
Employment Development Department

FAQ Work Sharing Information for Employers

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Work Sharing is a program available to employers who reduce employee hours and wages as an alternative to layoffs. For more information, employers may contact the Employment Development Department (EDD) Special Claims Office directly by calling 916-464-3343.

Any employer who has a reduction in production, services, or other conditions should consider the Work Sharing program for their employees as an alternative to layoffs. An employer can apply to participate in Work Sharing if the following plan requirements are met:

  • At least 10 percent of the employer’s regular workforce or a unit of the workforce, and at least two regular employees, must be affected by a reduction in hours and wages.
  • The reduction in hours and wages must be at least 10 percent and must not exceed 60 percent.
  • The health benefits of employees must be continued under the same terms and conditions as prior to the reduction in hours and wages or to the same extent as other employees not participating in Work Sharing. Unless all employees’ benefits are reduced (reduction applied equally to employees not participating in Work Sharing), employers who reduce benefits of employees participating in Work Sharing will not qualify for the Work Sharing program.
  • The retirement benefits of employees must be continued under the same terms and conditions as prior to the reduction in hours and wages or to the same extent as other employees not participating in Work Sharing. Unless all employees’ benefits are reduced (reduction applied equally to employees not participating in Work Sharing), employers who reduce benefits of employees participating in Work Sharing will not qualify for the Work Sharing program.
  • Leased or temporary service employees may not participate in the Work Sharing program.
  • Corporate officers or major stock holders with investment in the company may not participate in the Work Sharing program.

The employee must meet the following requirements for each Work Sharing week:

  • The employee must be regularly employed by an employer whose Work Sharing Plan Application has been approved by the EDD.
  • The employee must be a part of the employer’s permanent regular workforce and not a leased, intermittent, temporary, or seasonal employee.
  • The employee must have qualifying wages in the base quarters used to establish a regular California unemployment insurance claim.
  • The reduction in each participating employee's hours and wages must be at least 10 percent and no more than 60 percent.
  • The employee must have completed a normal work week (with no hour or wage reductions) prior to participating in Work Sharing.

Work Sharing plans begin on a Sunday. The earliest a plan may begin is the Sunday prior to the employer’s first contact date with EDD. If the Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) is submitted timely, the employer chooses the effective date. The EDD will document the date of first contact with an employer if the first contact was made by phone. In this case, the plan application must be completed and submitted within 28 days of the first contact date documented by the EDD.

No. Only one Work Sharing plan is approved for one California employer account number. However, units at the same or different locations may be included in the Work Sharing plan.

Yes. If you are an employer and need to add an additional location, employee(s), or work unit(s) to an existing Work Sharing plan, complete the Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) for expanded coverage. You will need to provide the following to the EDD:

  • Business name.
  • Business address.
  • California Employer Account Number.
  • Effective date of your current plan.
  • Effective date of requested expanded coverage.
  • Name(s) of the additional unit(s) or locations(s).
  • Total number of employees in the unit(s).
  • Number of additional employees that will be participating.
  • Employee names and Social Security numbers.
  • Normal work hours of employees and reduced work hours.

Employers are charged for Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance benefits in the same manner as regular Unemployment Insurance benefits.

All Work Sharing plans begin on a Sunday. If you are an employer and would like to apply for Work Sharing, complete the application and mail it to the EDD. The earliest effective date for a new Work Sharing plan is the Sunday prior to the first contact date with the EDD. If the plan application is complete and submitted timely, employers can choose the effective date.

The plan expiration date is listed on the notice of approval that is mailed to employers after their Work Sharing plan is approved. Employers may renew a Work Sharing plan if needed. The effective date of a renewed Work Sharing Plan is the day after the prior plan expires, only if the plan application is submitted no more than 10 days after the prior plan has expired.

Discontinue issuing the Work Sharing forms to participating employees until the Work Sharing plan expires. Refer to the notice of Work Sharing plan approval for the expiration date of the approved plan. Employers can also request the cancellation of the plan by submitting a written notice to the EDD Special Claims Office that specifies the reason(s) for cancellation and the requested cancellation date.

Subsequent Work Sharing plans will be approved if the employer continues to meet the requirements of the program. The plan is effective for 12 months and subsequent plans may be approved until the employer’s economic conditions improve.

No, unless the participating employee(s) in the same position worked during that holiday as part of the employee(s) normal weekly hours of work during the 12-month period prior to the employer’s participation in the Work Sharing program.

A holiday schedule cannot be changed unless the employer can provide documentation that the Work Sharing participants worked or did not work during the 12-month period prior to the employer’s participation in the Work Sharing program. Additional verification by the EDD may have to be done before any holiday schedule is changed.

Yes, like regular UI customers, Work Sharing employees must serve a one-week unpaid waiting period. The waiting period is usually the first eligible week claimed after the Work Sharing UI claim is filed.

Employers may contact the EDD Special Claims Office directly by calling 916-464-3343 for additional Work Sharing claim forms.