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Work-Sharing Program

What is the Work-sharing Program?

Work-Sharing helps prevent layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The program requires a three-way agreement to be negotiated between the employer, employees, and Service Canada, and provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while the business recovers.

Most recent update: In its 2021 budget, released April 19, the federal government proposed extending the temporary enhancements to the Work-Sharing Program to establish longer agreements and streamline applications to help employers and workers avoid layoffs. This change won’t come into effect until Parliament passes the budget; we will update the information below when it does.

Program Overview                   FAQ                  
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Work-Sharing Overview

Amount businesses can receive: The business does not receive any money. A work-sharing agreement allows the business to retain workers at a reduced cost by having employees receive EI to compensate for a part of the wages lost due to a reduction in available work hours.

Program duration: On-going. This program is not COVID-specific.

How to apply: Via e-mail to Service Canada. See FAQ below for details.

When to apply: Applications must be made at minimum 10 days before you wish the work-sharing agreement to start

Application deadline: No deadline, however program rules may change after March 14, 2021

Eligibility criteria: See the FAQ below for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Work-Sharing Resources

What is CFIB advocating for on Workshare?

What we have achieved:

  • Successfully lobbied to expand the work-sharing program during COVID and to reduce red tape in the application process
  • Alerted Service Canada to CERB & EI-workshare issues

What we’re pushing for:

  • Ensuring operational glitches are removed to maximize the potential of the work-sharing program during and after the pandemic.

Get more information

  • To see more about what CFIB has achieved during COVID-19, please see our summary of changes to the federal aid programs.

LEARN MORE

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