Who is eligible

Eligible employers

To be eligible for a Work-Sharing agreement, your business must:

During COVID-19, Work-Sharing extended eligibility to:

Ineligible employers

Your business is not eligible for Work-Sharing if it is experiencing reduced business activity due to:

  • a labor dispute
  • a seasonal shortage of work, or
  • the decrease in business activity is due to a recent increase in the size of the workforce

Employers are not eligible if they are:

  • an employer who operates solely for the purpose of carrying out the administration of a government program/activity. Program/activity that is purely government in nature, such as:
    • municipalities, or
    • Government Agencies
  • self-employed

Eligible employees

To be eligible for Work-Sharing Employment Benefits, your employees must:

Note: Some employers may have been unable to avoid layoffs prior to applying to participate in Work-Sharing. Core employees who were laid off prior to the employer applying to enter into a Work-Sharing agreement may be included in the Work-Sharing unit. Any employees laid off between the submission of an application to enter into a Work-Sharing agreement and the date the Work-Sharing agreement commences will also be eligible to participate.

*Although members of the Work-Sharing unit must qualify to receive EI benefits. Service Canada cannot determine eligibility until after individuals have actually filed for benefits. Therefore, all members of a Work-Sharing unit are considered eligible for benefits unless an EI officer advises them otherwise. The employee does not have to inform their employer of the status of their eligibility for EI benefits.

During COVID-19, Work-Sharing extended eligibility to:

Ineligible employees

Employees that are not eligible for Work-Sharing include:

  • seasonal employees and students hired for the summer or a co-op term
  • employees hired on a casual or on-call basis, or through a temporary help agency
  • employees responsible for the direction of the company and who hold more than 40% of the voting shares in the business, or
  • self-employed
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