Who is eligible
End of COVID-19 special measures
Effective September 25, 2022 – The temporary changes to the Work-Sharing program implemented during COVID-19 are no longer in effect.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 email@example.com.
To be eligible for a Work-Sharing agreement, your business or organization must:
- be a year-round business in Canada for at least 2 years
- be a private business, a publicly held company or a certain type of non-for-profit:
- A publicly held company is a for-profit company whereby its shares/stocks are owned by the general public. Public sector employers, including government or publicly owned corporations, such as crown corporations, are not eligible for Work-Sharing.
- Non-profit organizations are eligible if they engage in activities where they retain the profit to support the goals of the organization. Temporary layoffs in a non-profit organization resulting from a reduction in revenue levels alone (such as reduced grants, donations, memberships, investment income or other disruptions in funding streams) do not meet the Work-Sharing eligibility criteria
- have experienced a minimum 10% reduction in their business activities within the last six months to establish a need for the Work-Sharing Program
- have at least 2 eligible employees in the Work-Sharing unit that must share the available work equally
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, such as:
- municipalities, or
- Government Agencies
To be eligible for Work-Sharing Employment Benefits, your employees must:
- be year-round, permanent, full-time or part-time employees needed to carry out the day-to-day functions of the business (your “core staff”)
- be eligible to receive Employment Insurance benefits*, and
- agree to reduce their normal working hours by the same percentage and to share the available work equitably
Some employers may have been unable to avoid layoffs prior to applying to participate in Work-Sharing. Core staff recently laid off may be included in the Work-Sharing unit.
*Please Note: 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 employees who are members of the Work-Sharing agreement.
Employees that are not eligible for Work-Sharing include:
- seasonal employees (for example: lifeguards, ski resort employees, etc.)
- students hired for the summer or a co-op term
- employees hired on a casual / on-call basis
- contracted temporary help agency workers
- those responsible for the direction of the company and who hold more than 40% of the voting shares in the business, or
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