Work-Sharing (WS) is a program that helps employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary decrease in business activity beyond the control of the employer. The program provides Employment Insurance (EI) benefits to eligible employees who agree to reduce their normal working hours and share the available work while their employer recovers. Work-Sharing is an agreement between employers, employees and the Government of Canada.

Here is the information link for the program: 

Employers will note that there is need for an internal joint collaborative approach that needs to be undertaken between employees and the employer, so everyone is on the same page, understands the plan and the respective parties must sign off on the plan. 

Temporary Special Measures in Place

  • Extension of the maximum possible duration of an agreement from 38 week to 76 weeks. 
  • Mandatory cooling off period has been waived for employers who have already used the Work-Sharing program so that eligible employers may immediately enter into a new agreement.
  • Reduced the previous requirements for a recovery plan to a single line of text within the application form.
  • Reduced the requirement and expand eligibility to employers affected by accepting business who have been in business for only 1 year rather than 2, and eliminate the burden of having to provide sales/production figures at the same time.
  • Expanded eligibility for staff who are essential to recovery, Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and non-for-profit organization employers


  • You have been in business for at least 1 year.
  • You have 2 or more employees that are normally year-round permanent, full or part time that are 'core' staff for your business.
  • Your employees are eligible and willing to receive Employment Insurance benefits and agree to a reduction in hours to share any available work.
  • Your business is a publicly held company or a private business.
  • You are a Government Business Enterprises (GBEs), also referred to as public corporation.
  • You are a not-for-profit employer experiencing a shortage of work due to a reduction of business activity and/or a reduction in revenue levels due to COVID-19

Begin the Application Process Here: 

STEP 1 - Employees MUST understand what is involved by reviewing the following Employee toolkit

Overview sheet for employees 

Work-Sharing fact sheet for employees

STEP 2 - Next, the employer must understand the program and the employer obligations by reviewing the Employer Toolkit

Overview sheet for employers 

Work-Sharing fact sheet for employers

STEP 3 – Once both parties are in agreement as to the framework of the program and its duration, you will need to fill out sign and submit the respective forms below.

Applications for a Work-Sharing Agreement form (EMP5100)

Work-Sharing Unit form (EMP5101) (Note: If the employer does not have enough room on one EMP5101 they can start another EMP5101 and use as many as they need.)

STEP 4 – Email your application in to – (For Ontario) -

NOTE: Ineligible employees

Employees that are not eligible for WS include: seasonal employees andstudents hired for the summer or a co-op termemployees hired on acasual or on-call basis, or through a temporary help agencyemployees responsiblefor the direction of the company and who hold more than 40% of the votingshares in the business, orself-employed

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