What Employers Need to Know About Canada's Work-Sharing Program

Peninsula Team

April 08 2020

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-Share, employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits can receive income support, while they work a temporarily reduced work week until their employer improves.

How do I apply to the Work-Share 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.

All parties in the agreement must apply for the Work-Share program together, and the application must be submitted minimum of 30 days before the requested start date.

Temporary Work-Sharing special measures for employer and employees impacted by COVID-19

The following measures are effective from March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021, and they are not limited to any specific sector or industry.

The temporary Work-Sharing Special Measures include:

  • Maximum duration of an agreement has been extended from 38 weeks to 76 weeks
  • 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
  • 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.

Need support navigating HR or employment law related issues in your business?

Our HR experts can help. Speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors today to find out your employer obligations and to ensure your business is operating in compliance with your provincial Employment Standards legislation. Call us today: 1(833)247-3652.

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