After you apply

End of COVID—19 special measures

Starting September 25, 2022 – the temporary changes to the Work-Sharing program implemented during COVID-19 will no longer be in effect. Agreements with a start date after September 25, 2022 will be under the regular Work-Sharing program. Active agreements starting on or before September 25, 2022 will not be impacted. Employers with questions related to the end of the COVID-19 special measures may send inquiries to edsc.dgop.tp.rep-res.ws.pob.esdc@servicecanada.gc.ca.

Service Canada will assess your application to make sure:

Service Canada will acknowledge in writing the receipt of the application.

A Program Officer will inform all parties regarding the status of the application. All decisions regarding the application being approved or not approved will be provided in writing.

The Program Officer will conduct a cost analysis (comparing the cost related to temporary layoffs and the cost of the proposed Work-Sharing agreement). This analysis will establish the cost difference/effectiveness and will be one of the elements considered when assessing a Work-Sharing application. As well, the Program Officer will conduct a social/community impact assessment to determine the overall effect of the business on the community.

To recommend the application for approval, the Program Officer must conclude that:

Following the approval of the Work-Sharing agreement

In this section

Employer obligations

Signing the agreement

If your application for a Work-Sharing agreement is approved, you will be required to sign a Work-Sharing agreement. By signing the agreement, all parties involved (employer, employer representative, employee representative and, if applicable, union representative) agree to the information provided in the Work-Sharing application and to the terms of the Work-Sharing agreement. They understand that deliberately giving false or misleading information for the purpose of entering into a Work-Sharing agreement shall be subject to penalties as provided under the Employment Insurance Act.

In addition, the employer agrees to provide such documentation as may be required by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. This includes copies of sales/production figures and payroll records, for purposes of verifying the information provided in the application and monitoring activities.

Acceptable signature on the agreement:

Sign the agreement within 60 calendar days

A Work-Sharing agreement must be signed within 60 calendar days from the date the application was approved by Service Canada.

If an agreement is not signed within 60 calendar days of the approval date, it will be cancelled or withdrawn.

When a Work-Sharing agreement is cancelled or withdrawn, and the employer wishes to participate in the Work-Sharing program, a new application must be submitted and approved.

Implement the signed agreement within 60 calendar days

To implement a signed Work-Sharing agreement all employees participating in the agreement must experience, during the same week, a minimum 10% reduction to their normal weekly earnings (also known as the interruption of earnings).

When signed, a Work-Sharing agreement must be implemented within 60 calendar days of the agreement’s commencement date. If not implemented within 60 calendar days, the agreement will be withdrawn. Once an agreement is withdrawn, and the employer still wishes to participate in the Work-Sharing program, a new application must be submitted and approved.

List of employer obligations during the agreement

Employment Insurance benefits during the agreement

Employees receiving Employment Insurance Work-Sharing benefits

Employment Insurance pays Work-Sharing benefits. To be payable, each individual employee must apply and qualify for Employment Insurance. The Employment Insurance application and eligibility information is available online at Employment Insurance benefits.

The Employee annex details important information and instructions for all employees participating in Work-Sharing. 

When employees apply for Employment Insurance, they must enter a reference code to identify that they are a participant of a Work-Sharing agreement. Their reference code will be on the “Applying for Employment Insurance Work-Sharing Benefits” document they received from their Work-Sharing employer representative or the employee/union representative. This document contains important information for employees in order for them to apply for benefits.

The reference code is time sensitive and is only valid during the dates listed on the “Applying for Employment Insurance Work-Sharing Benefits” document. Therefore, it is important that participating employees submit their Employment Insurance application within this timeframe.

Employees participating in Work-Sharing must qualify to receive Employment Insurance benefits. An employee’s eligibility will be determined after the employee has filed for Employment Insurance benefits. The employee does not have to inform their employer of the status of their eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits. Employees may refuse to be part of a Work-Sharing agreement or may not be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. In either case, they are required to reduce their hours of work on an equitable basis with employee who participate in the Work-Sharing agreement.

The Employment Insurance waiting period is deferred for Work-Sharing program participants. The Employment Insurance waiting period will be served once a non-Work-Sharing week is processed as a week of regular or special Employment Insurance benefits.

If an employee has questions about their claim for Employment Insurance benefits, they must contact Employment Insurance.

Tax deductions for Work-Sharing benefits

Employment Insurance Work-Sharing benefits are taxable. Federal and provincial or territorial taxes, where applicable, will be deducted from payments.

For more information, participating employees can review Employment Insurance and repayment of benefits at income tax time.

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