Meet the Shared Work Program

Employers of all sizes have an alternative to layoffs: the Shared Work Program from the Kansas Department of Labor

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The Shared Work Program is designed to help both employers and employees

Shared Work can help employers:

  • Avoid layoffs
  • Keep valued employees
  • Recover fast when business improves
  • Adjust as business changes

Shared Work can help employees:

  • Keep their current job
  • Avoid a financial crisis
  • Keep benefits such as health insurance

Under the program, employers reduce the total number of hours that employees work. Employees can then claim partial unemployment benefits for the number of hours their workweek was reduced.

Questions?


Read the FAQs for employees, employers and program administrators.

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Contact:

Kansas Department of Labor
Shared Work Program

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603-3182

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Business eligibility requirements

To participate in the Shared Work Program, an employer must:

  • Have reduced the normal weekly work hours and corresponding wages by at least 20% but no more than 40%.
  • Have a reduction that affects a business unit of two or more employees.
  • Apply the plan for reduced hours to at least 10% of the employees in the affected unit.
  • Have established an experience rating.
  • Not have a negative balance in their unemployment tax account or be delinquent on unemployment tax reports or payments.
five hand drawn people of different ethnic backgrounds in separate blue circles

Employees have to meet a few conditions, as well, to qualify for Shared Work benefits. They must:

  • Be able to work and available for full-time work with the participating employer
  • Be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in the state of Kansas
  • Accept all work offered by the participating employer for the claim period filed
  • Not work more than the reduced hours specified in the plan
  • Have valid authorization to work in the United States, if not a U.S. citizen
  • Report to their employer any hours worked with other employment
  • Work at least 8 hours in a week
The Shared Work Program does not cover seasonal employees. An employee will be considered seasonal if they typically work for a period of six months or less and the period of employment begins in approximately the same part of the year (e.g., summer, winter or holiday season)—regardless of how many hours the employee is expected to work each week.

How to apply

01

Download the one-page form

02

Complete it digitally

03

Attach the completed digital form to an email that also contains the requested details about affected employees

04

Send the completed digital form and employee list to KDOL.SharedWork@ks.gov

Employers may also print and mail the form and employee list to the address above. After the application is received, a decision will be made within 10 business days.

Putting Shared Work into action

The employer manages the Shared Work Program, which means they will need to submit weekly certifications and meet the terms of the program each week, in addition to other responsibilities. For more details, read the FAQs for employees, employers and program administrators.

Once approved, an employer's Shared Work plan is valid for one year from the date the application was received.

Employees who are participating in the Shared Work program may receive benefits for up to 52 weeks.

blue hand drawn building with yellow trees

How it works: an example

A firm facing a 20% reduction in production may consider laying off one-fifth of its workforce. Instead, when faced with this situation, the company can retain its total workforce on a four-day-a-week basis. This reduction from 40 hours to 32 hours cuts production—and payroll—by the required 20 percent without reducing the number of employees.

Work week calendar, Monday through Thursday in yellow, Friday in blue; showing 4 days of work and 20% UI benefits

All affected employees receive their wages based on four days of work. In addition, those employees can receive a portion of unemployment compensation benefits equal to 20% of the unemployment compensation weekly benefit amount payable had the employee been unemployed a full week.

three hand drawn people with diverse ethnicity; 20% decrease in hours worked shows 32 hours in a standard work week

Based on a 40-hour week, the employer reduces the work schedule by 20%. The employer submits a plan for this reduction to Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) and is approved under the Shared Work Program.

hands holding check from KDOL, blue background,

In this example, the employee qualifies for regular unemployment compensation with a weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $488 (actual WBA will vary based on the employee).

20% of 40-hour work week = 8 hours
Employee works and earns wages for 32 hours
20% x $488 WBA = $97

This employee would receive $97 in unemployment benefits in addition to the 32 hours of wages earned during the week.

Each week, the employer makes sure that they are meeting the Shared Work program requirements and submits a certification form to KDOL verifying who is affected.

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