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  • The Department of Labor and Industry of Pennsylvania has created a new Shared Work Program to help employers keep their skilled workers and avoid lay-offs. Find out if your company or your employer qualify for this program. The shared work program could mean the difference between a reduced work schedule or unemployment or between losing a skilled worker and keeping a valuable member of your team.

    The changes to the new Shared-Work program start to apply in March 2012. These changes affect the requirements a worker and a company must meet to qualify. These changes are hot from the press so stay with us and see how Pennsylvania can help protect your jobs and strengthen your company.

    The Basics

    First let’s review what a shared-work program is. A shared-work program is a government subsidy that allows employers to temporarily reduce the work hours of their workers and tops up the difference to the worker’s wage by granting eligible workers a percentage of their unemployment compensation weekly benefit amount.

    Reduction Percentage

    A key factor when calculating eligibility for the shared-work program and the benefits workers will receive is the employee’s ‘reduction percentage’. The reduction percentage of a worker is percentage of work hours eligible workers see their hours reduced by. For example, if you usually work 40 hours a week and your employer reduces your week work hours to 32, that is a 20 percent. A 40 percent reduction would mean you are left with only 24 hours of work when you started with 40 hours. It is important for workers to understand that to qualify for the shared-work program all workers in the program must suffer the same reduction percentage. You cannot pick and choose how many hours each worker’s work schedule will be reduced by. To qualify, the reduction percentage of the workers in a company must be greater than 20 percent but lower than 40 percent.


    The amount a worker will see his reduced wage topped-up by will depend on her weekly benefit amount at that time. The weekly benefit amount of a worker is the amount of weekly benefits she would be eligible for if she applied for unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor and Industry will provide workers in the shared-work program with the same proportion of their weekly benefits amount as their reduction percentage. For instance, if a workers hours are reduced by 30 percent he will be eligible for up to 30 percent of her weekly benefit amount.

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