WorkShare

WorkShare is an unemployment option that helps businesses retain their workforce during a temporary slowdown in work. The program allows employers to voluntarily reduce the hours of staff in lieu of layoffs. Employees of the business are allowed to collect a partial unemployment benefit to help them offset the loss of income.

The WorkShare program helps businesses keep trained workers during a temporary downturn, and it helps workers stay connected to jobs and maintain their skills.

In lieu of a layoff, employers can temporarily reduce their work hours in a particular unit, shift or company from 10% to 50%. To help offset the loss of hours, the affected workers can receive a modified weekly unemployment benefit.

  • The reduction must be temporary and not related to a seasonal, or intermittent down turn.
  • The employees hours had to have been reduced by at least 10% but not more that 50%.
  • Have otherwise resulted in the layoff of at least 10% of the workers in the affected unit for 2-6 months.
  • Affect a unit of the business that normally works on a full-time basis.

  • The employee has to be included in an affected unit of the business.
  • The employee would have had to earned enough wages in the last 18 months to meet the regular qualifications for unemployment benefits.
  • The employee would have had to have been able and available to work their normally scheduled hours for their employer.
  • Benefits are paid on a percentage equal to the hours reduction. Someone who has lost 25% of their hours would receive 25% of their normal weekly unemployment benefit.

  • Applications for Workshare must be filed by the employer. Employers should call (207) 623-6783 for more information.
  • Maine WorkShare Law