Work Sharing Program
Employers can apply for the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Work Sharing program as a temporary alternative to layoffs if the business’s production or services have been reduced.
The Work Sharing program helps employers:
- Minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs in nearly all types of businesses or industries.
- Keep trained employees and quickly recover when business conditions improve.
- New: Bring back furloughed or laid-off employees at reduced hours as business conditions improve. During the COVID pandemic, previously furloughed and laid-off employees do not have to work a normal schedule for one week without a reduction in hours before they can participate in Work Sharing.
With Work Sharing, employees whose hours and wages have been reduced can:
- Receive UI benefits.
- Keep their current job.
- Avoid financial hardships.
Important Plan Details
All approved Work Sharing plans are active for one year.
Work Sharing plans always begin on Sunday. The earliest date to start a new Work Sharing plan is the Sunday before the first day you contact the EDD.
To renew your plan without a gap in coverage, you must submit an application no more than 10 days after your previous plan ends. Otherwise, your plan will start the Sunday before the day we receive your application.
To participate, an employer’s business must meet all of the following requirements:
- Be a legally registered business in California.
- Have an active California State Employer Account Number.
- A minimum of two employees and at least 10 percent of your regular workforce, or a department of the workforce, must be affected by a reduction in hours and wages.
- Hours and wages must be reduced by 10 to 60 percent.
- Health and retirement benefits must stay the same as before, or they must meet the same standards as other employees who are not participating in Work Sharing.
- The employees’ bargaining unit must agree to voluntarily participate and sign the application for Work Sharing.
- Affected work units to be covered by the Work Sharing plan, and each participating employee, must be identified by their legal name and Social Security number.
- Employees must know in advance that you plan to take part in the Work Sharing program.
- Estimated amount of layoffs to be avoided by participating in the Work Sharing program.
- All necessary reports and information are provided to the EDD.
- Leased, intermittent, seasonal, or temporary service employees cannot participate.
- Corporate officers or major stock holders with investment in the company cannot participate.
- Work Sharing cannot be used as a transition to a layoff.
Apply or Renew Online
Apply or renew online for faster processing and to conveniently manage your account.
Note: You cannot apply for Work Sharing using Internet Explorer. Use Chrome for the best online experience.
Register for an Account
To access Work Sharing online, you must first register for an account, even if you already have an existing plan.
Once you have registered, log in to apply for a Work Sharing plan, submit a form, or quickly view and manage approved plans online.
If you have an existing plan, you can link it to your new online account after you log in.
Already have an account? Log in to Work Sharing.
Apply or Renew by Mail
All employers can also apply by mail with the Work Sharing (WS) Unemployment Insurance Plan Application (DE 8686) (PDF).
You may need to download the no-cost Adobe Reader to view and print the application.
Contact Work Sharing
If you need additional information on the Work Sharing Program, contact the EDD Special Claims Office at 1-916-464-3343.
If you are approved by your employer to participate in the Work Sharing Program and have questions about your claim, contact the EDD Special Claims office at 1-916-464-3300.
- Work Sharing Information for Employees FAQs
- Work Sharing Information for Employers FAQs
- Work Sharing Employer Requirements and Criteria (DE 8686RQ) (PDF)
- Work Sharing Application (DE 8686) (PDF)
- Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program Fact Sheet (DE 8714BB) (PDF)
- Layoff Alternatives
- Unemployment Insurance An Alternative to Layoffs: Work Sharing (DE 2329) (PDF)
Last Revised: 02/03/2022