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Information for Employees

* If you are an employer looking for information, please visit the Information for Employers page.
Pennsylvania's Shared-Work program allows an employer to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees as an alternative to a layoff. Employees covered by the plan receive a percentage of their unemployment compensation (UC) Weekly Benefit Amount (WBA), while they work the reduced schedule, if they are otherwise eligible for UC.


Shared-Work is an alternative to layoffs. If your employer elects to participate in the Shared-Work program and the plan is approved, instead of the employer laying off some employees, all employees share the available work by working reduced hours and collecting a portion of their UC benefits. To receive approval for a Shared-Work plan, an employer must certify that the plan is in lieu of layoffs that would involve at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit and would result in an equivalent reduction in work hours.
You may be eligible to collect partial UC based on how much your work is reduced. Additionally, Shared-Work offers the following benefits:
  • Retain your job.
  • Retain your health insurance and retirement benefits.
  • Maintain your employment skills.
  • Maintain a higher income than with UC benefits alone.
  • Continue building job tenure and be available for advancement opportunities.

Employee Participation

Your employer will group employees into “affected units.”. An affected unit is a department, shift or other organizational unit assigned by the employer. All employees in an affected unit must participate in the Shared-Work plan.
You will not be permitted to participate if:
  • You have been employed in the affected unit for less than three months; or
  • You work 40 or more hours a week under the plan.

Weekly Benefits Payments

The percentage by which your work hours are reduced is called the "reduction percentage." The employer determines the reduction percentage. It must be at least 20 percent and cannot exceed 40 percent. The reduction percentage must be the same for all employees participating in a Shared-Work plan. For example, if you normally work 40 hours per week, and the reduction percentage is 20 percent, then hours are reduced by 20 percent and you would work 80 percent of 40 hours, or 32 hours per week. If another employee in your unit works 30 hours per week, then he or she would work 80 percent of 30 hours, or 24 hours per week.
For each week included in the plan, you receive a percentage of your UC WBA equal to the reduction percentage. For example, if your WBA is $400 and your hours are reduced by 20 percent under the plan, you would receive 20 percent of $400 or $80 in Shared-Work UC.
Reporting Work & Earnings
Shared-Work employers do not have to report wages their employees earn from outside part-time employment. The department determines Shared-Work benefits by the percentage of reduction in hours in full-time employment with only the Shared-Work employer.

Benefit payments after a Shared-Work plan ends

Shared-Work benefits are payable only while the employer's plan is in effect. You may be eligible for benefits under the regular unemployment benefits program once the Shared-Work program ends. If the employer does not renew the Shared-Work plan, but your hours remain reduced, you must timely apply for regular unemployment benefits to be considered for possible eligibility.

Shared-Work Comparison to Regular UC

  Shared-Work Regular UC
Must serve an unpaid waiting week X X
Must be financially eligible for UC X X
Must be able and available for work X X
Must register with Job Gateway   X
Must conduct regular work searches   X
Subject to deductions such as
child support or previous UC overpayments
Subject to 1.7% benefit reductions X X
May have Federal taxes withheld X X
Must report earnings from
part-time employment
Benefits payable via direct deposit
or UC debit card
Payment info available on UC web site X X
Who files bi-weekly claims? Employer Claimant
Tell Your Employer About Shared-Work - Print this brochure (PDF) and provide to your employer or union representative.
Contact a Shared-Work Representative:
Office of UC Benefits
Attn: Shared-Work
651 Boas St., Rm. 610
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Call: 877-785-1531