Work-Sharing Program - Temporary special measures for COVID-19 and the steel and aluminum sector
Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there are changes to this program and this page is no longer accurate. All Work-Sharing agreements fall under the COVID-19 special measures, until further notice.
The Government of Canada has put in place Work-Sharing (WS) temporary special measures for employers affected by the downturn in business related to COVID-19 and for the steel and aluminum sector.
These measures extend the duration of Work-Sharing agreements by an additional 38 weeks, for a total of 76 weeks. The mandatory waiting period has also been waived so that employers with a recently expired agreement may immediately apply for a new agreement, without waiting between applications and ease Recovery Plan requirements for the duration of the WS agreement.
COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus)
Temporary special measures are effective March 15, 2020 to March 14, 2021.
You are eligible to apply if your business has been directly or indirectly experiencing a downturn due to COVID-19 and if you:
- had a WS agreement that ended between June 23, 2019 and March 14, 2020 and are currently in your mandatory cooling-off period, then you may be eligible to waive the mandatory waiting period, and apply for a new agreement with a maximum possible duration of 76 weeks
- have a WS agreement that will be signed between March 15, 2020 and March 13, 2021 (with an agreement start date no later than March 14, 2021), or
- have a WS agreement that will begin or end between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 2021 (you may be eligible for a 38-week extension for a total of 76 weeks)
Visit the Work-Sharing Program COVID-19 page for more information and tools regarding this special measure.
Steel and aluminum sector
Temporary special measures are effective August 19, 2018 to March 27, 2021.
You are eligible to apply if your business has been directly or indirectly affected by the downturn in the steel and aluminum sector and if you:
- had a WS agreement that ended between November 25, 2017 and August 18, 2018
- have a WS agreement that will be signed between August 19, 2018 and March 27, 2021 (with an agreement start date no later than March 28, 2021), or
- have a WS agreement that will begin or end between August 19, 2018 and March 27, 2021
How to apply
**Please refer to the WS Applicant guide for the temporary special measures for more information on how to complete your application.**
If you are applying for a new agreement you must submit the following documents:
- EMP 5100 - Application for a Work-Sharing agreement
- EMP 5101 - Attachment A: Work-Sharing unit attachment
Employers are instructed to submit their completed applications using the method listed below:
Western Canada and Territories
Employer Contact Centre
For more information on the Work-Sharing Program, employers across Canada may contact the Employer Contact Centre:
Hours of operation: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm, Eastern Time, Monday to Friday.
Canada and the United States
- Toll-free: 1-800-367-5693
- TTY : 1-855-881-9874
Outside Canada and the United States
Telephone: 506-546-7569 (collect calls accepted)
Employer Inquiry Unit
Service Canada has created an inquiry unit for employers affected by COVID-19 that are seeking general information related to the Work-Sharing Program. Inquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employment Insurance Call Centre
For general questions about their Work-Sharing EI benefits and payments, employees can call the Employment Insurance Call Centre. Please note that for privacy reasons, Service Canada is unable to disclose information specific to an employee’s file to employers.
- English: 1-800-206-7218
- French: 1-800-808-6352
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