Work-Sharing - Overview

From Employment and Social Development Canada

1. Overview

Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.

Work-Sharing is a three-party agreement involving employers, employees and Service Canada. Employees on a Work-Sharing agreement must agree to a reduced schedule of work and to share the available work over a specified period of time.

Notice

In Budget 2016, the Government of Canada introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada. Access the Work-Sharing special measures page to find out if you are eligible.

Notice

The Government of Canada introduced temporary special measures that extend the maximum duration of Work-Sharing agreements from 38 weeks to 76 weeks across Canada for those businesses affected by the downturn in the forestry sector. Access the 2017 Work-Sharing temporary special measures page to find out if you are eligible.

Apply now

The employer and the employees (and the union, if applicable) must agree to participate in a Work-Sharing agreement and must apply together. An application for a Work-Sharing agreement must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the requested start date.

Before applying, please read all the information provided (including the Work-Sharing Applicant Guide) and discuss it with your employees.

For more information on the Work-Sharing program employers and employees across Canada may call the following toll-free number: 1-866-891-5319 (TTY : 1-800-926-9105).

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: