Employers FAQs

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Shared Work Program

What is the Shared Work Program?

The Shared Work Program from the Kansas Department of Labor provides employers with an alternative to layoffs. The Shared Work Program is designed to help both employers and employees. 

Shared Work can help employers:

  • avoid layoffs. 
  • keep valued employees. 
  • recover fast when business improves. 
  • adjust as business changes. 

Shared Work can help employees:

  • keep their current job. 
  • avoid a financial crisis. 
  • keep benefits such as health insurance. 

Under the program, employers reduce the total number of hours that employees work. Employees can then receive partial unemployment benefits for the number of hours their workweek was reduced. 

Where can I learn more?

To learn more, you can visit our Shared Work page or ask Amelia, our always-on chatbot. You can also contact us at the information below.

Kansas Department of Labor
Shared Work Program

KDOL.SharedWork@ks.gov

401 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66603-3182

For Employees

How does it work in practice?

An employee normally works a 40-hour week. The employer reduces the work schedule by 20%. The employer submits a plan for this reduction to KDOL and is approved under the Shared Work Program. 
 
In this example, the employee qualifies for regular unemployment compensation with a weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $488 (actual WBA will vary based on the employee). 
     20% of 40-hour work week = 8 hours 
     Employee works and earns wages for 32 hours 
     20% x $488 WBA = $97 
 
This employee would receive $97 in unemployment benefits in addition to the 32 hours of wages earned during the week.

As an employee, can I be covered by the Shared Work Program?

Employees may participate in a Shared Work plan if they meet the following conditions. They must:

  • be able to work and available for full-time work with the participating employer.
  • be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in the state of Kansas.
  • accept all work offered by the participating employer for the claim period filed.
  • not work more than the reduced hours specified in the plan.
  • have valid authorization to work in the United States, if not a U.S. citizen.
  • report to their employer any hours worked with other employment.
  • work at least 8 hours in the week.

The Shared Work Program does not cover seasonal employees. An employee will be considered seasonal if they typically work for a period of six months or less and the period of employment begins in approximately the same part of the year (e.g., summer, winter or holiday season)—regardless of how many hours the employee is expected to work each week.

Employees who are participating in the Shared Work program may receive benefits for up to 26 weeks.

What do I have to do in order to participate?

The employer manages the Shared Work Program, which means they will need to apply to participate and provide a list of employees who will be affected. Employers should also notify employees that an identity verification will be conducted with the Social Security Administration as part of the employer’s application.

While on Shared Work, the employer will be responsible for submitting a weekly certification form to the Kansas Department of Labor, certifying the number of hours worked by each employee during the week.

At the start of the employer’s participation in Shared Work, employees may have to complete a form to confirm their identity and help the employer create their claim.

Employees should NOT file a claim for regular unemployment. Doing so will cause a delay in payment.

Employees can elect to receive their Shared Work benefits through direct deposit or debit card. To change payment method, log on to the Get Kansas Benefits site and select “Payment options” from the main menu. Then select the payment method and fill out the required information.

If you are participating in the Shared Work Plan, you are not required to look for work and are not penalized for refusing job offers from other employers.

After an employer has been approved and has submitted the required forms to initiate an employee’s claim, the employee will receive in the mail a Monetary Determination and Regular Unemployment forms. Employees should review the Monetary Determination carefully to understand how their benefits have been calculated. They should securely discard the Regular Unemployment forms because the Shared Work Program forms their employer submits cover their claim and ongoing participation.

What if I work at another job?

An employee may work another job while participating in Shared Work. However, if an employee’s combined hours of work for both employers are equal to or greater than 40 hours of work with the Shared Work participating employer, the employee will not be eligible for Shared Work benefits.

How do I file my unemployment claim or weekly claims when my employer has filed Shared Work?

The employer is responsible for filing your unemployment claim or weekly claims on your behalf. The employer certifies the number of hours you worked during the week and if you refused an offer of full-time work with this employer. You do not need to file weekly claims.

I was sent forms to complete while in Shared Work. Do I need to complete these or does my employer?

You may be sent forms addressing your ability to work, availability for work and moneys you may have received. You should complete and send back any forms we mail you.

How will I be paid on Shared Work?

Shared Work claimants can choose to receive payments via debit card or direct deposit. You should make your payment selection by creating an online account and selecting payment options.

For Employers

How does it work in practice?

A firm facing a 20% reduction in production may consider laying off one-fifth of its workforce. Instead, when faced with this situation, the company can retain its total workforce on a four-day-a-week basis. This reduction from 40 hours to 32 hours cuts production—and payroll—by the required 20% without reducing the number of employees.

All affected employees receive their wages based on four days of work. In addition, those employees can receive a portion of unemployment compensation benefits equal to 20% of the unemployment compensation weekly benefit amount payable had the employee been unemployed a full week.

Based on a 40-hour week, the employer reduces the work schedule by 20%. The employer submits a plan for this reduction to Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) and is approved under the Shared Work Program.

In this example, the employee qualifies for regular unemployment compensation with a weekly benefit amount (WBA) of $488 (actual WBA will vary based on the employee).

          20% of 40-hour work week = 8 hours
          Employee works and earns wages for 32 hours
          20% x $488 WBA = $97

This employee would receive $97 in unemployment benefits in addition to the 32 hours of wages earned during the week.

Each week, the employer makes sure that they are meeting the Shared Work program requirements and submits a certification form to KDOL verifying who is affected.

What are the business eligibility requirements?

To participate in the Shared Work Program, an employer must:

  • have reduced the normal weekly work hours and corresponding wages by at least 10% but no more than 50%.
  • have a reduction that affects a business unit of two or more employees
  • apply the plan for reduced hours to at least 10% of the employees in the affected unit.
  • have established an experience rating.
  • not have a negative balance in their unemployment tax account or be delinquent on unemployment tax reports or payments.

The Shared Work Program is not available for seasonal layoffs.

As an employer, who does the Shared Work Program cover?

Employees may participate in a Shared Work plan if they meet the following conditions. They must:

  • be able to work and available for full-time work with the participating employer.
  • be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in the state of Kansas.
  • accept all work offered by the participating employer for the claim period filed.
  • not work more than the reduced hours specified in the plan.
  • have valid authorization to work in the United States, if not a U.S. citizen.
  • report to their employer any hours worked with other employment.
  • work at least 8 hours a week.

The Shared Work Program does not cover seasonal employees.

An employee will be considered seasonal if they typically work for a period of six months or less and the period of employment begins in approximately the same part of the year (e.g., summer, winter or holiday season)—regardless of how many hours the employee is expected to work each week.

Employees who are participating in the Shared Work program may receive benefits for up to 52 weeks.

How do I apply?

  1. Download the Shared Work application (K-BEN 101) below.
  2. Complete it digitally.
  3. Attach the completed digital form to an email that also contains the requested details about affected employees.
  4. Send the completed digital form and employee list to KDOL.SharedWork@ks.gov. Employers may also print and mail the form and employee list to Kansas Department of Labor – Shared Work Program, 401 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66603-3182
  5. After the application is received, a decision will be made within 10 business days. Once approved, an employer’s Shared Work plan is valid for one year from the date the application was received.

What are my responsibilities if my application is approved?

While on Shared Work, the employer will be responsible for submitting a weekly certification form to the Kansas Department of Labor, certifying the number of hours worked by each employee during the week. The employer must make sure every week that at least 10% of employees in the affected unit qualify—that is, they have had their work hours reduced by 10% to 50%.

If the employer does not meet this 10% requirement during a given week, then NO employees on the weekly certification will qualify for benefits that week. For example: A business unit of 37 employees must have at least 10% of its members—3.7 people, rounded up to 4—listed on the weekly certification.

Employees should NOT file a claim for regular unemployment. Doing so will cause a delay in payment.

The employer manages the Shared Work Program. This means that in addition to meeting the conditions for shared work each week and submitting the weekly certification, they must also keep employees informed about the program and help answer questions.

For Program Administrators

What are an employer's responsibilities under the Shared Work Program?

Initial filing: The employer must inform affected employees about the Shared Work program, which includes sharing pamphlets with them and advising them that their identity will be verified with the Social Security Administration as part of determining their eligibility for benefits. If needed, the employer will also need to make sure that employees complete the Shared Work Employee Information form to acknowledge their participation and help KDOL confirm their identity and help the employer create their claim. The employer will need to submit those forms along with a KDOL-provided spreadsheet. Details, including the required pamphlets to distribute, the forms and instructions on returning them to KDOL will be included in the email confirming an employer’s approval for the Shared Work Program.

Weekly Certification filing: Every week after the initial filing and for the duration of the employer’s participation in the Shared Work Program, the employer must make sure to meet the terms of the program (10% of affected business unit’s employees must have hours reduced by 10% to 50%) and must complete a Weekly Certification form and return it to KDOL. The required form and how to return it to KDOL will be included in the email confirming an employer’s approval for the Shared Work Program.

Employers will also need to verify any outside employment with Shared Work participants and number of hours worked each week before submitting the weekly certification. An employee will not be eligible for Shared Work benefits and should not be listed on the weekly certification if the employee works for another employer AND the combined hours for both employers are equal to or greater than 40 hours of work with the employer who is participating in the Shared Work Program. Adjustments to the number of participating employees and hours worked must still remain in the range of a 10% to 50% reduction and must still apply to 10% of the employees in the affected unit.

If the employer does not meet this 10% requirement during a given week, then NO employees on the weekly certification will qualify for benefits that week. For example: A business unit of 37 employees must have at least 10% of its members—3.7 people, rounded up to 4—listed on the weekly certification.

Employees must also work at least 8 hours during a week in order to qualify for the Shared Work Program. They must also work all the hours assigned by the employer. Paid time off can be used during a Shared Work week, provided the employee also works 8 or more hours.

Employers should also track the number of weeks each employee participates in Shared Work so that they do not exceed the maximum. Employees should also track this information.

Do employees need to file unemployment claims?

At the start of the employer’s participation in Shared Work, employees may have to complete a form to confirm their identity and help the employer create their claim. The employer will be responsible for distributing this form, making sure it’s completed for each participating employee and submitting it to KDOL. Employees should NOT file a claim for regular unemployment. Doing so will cause a delay in payment.

How will employees receive their unemployment benefits?

Employees can elect to receive their Shared Work benefits through direct deposit or debit card.

To change payment method, employees should log on to the Get Kansas Benefits site and select “Payment options” from the main menu. They will then select the desired payment method and fill out the required information.

Do employees need to look for other work in order to receive unemployment benefits?

Employees who are participating in the Shared Work Plan are not required to look for work and are not penalized for refusing job offers from other employers.

What should an employer do if an employee hasn't received their unemployment benefits?

First, the employer should make sure the employee has been included in the weekly certification and that all weekly certifications have been submitted. Employees should receive benefits one week following the submission of each weekly certification. Second, the employer should verify that the employee meets all eligibility requirements.

If all weekly certifications are up to date and the employee is eligible, the employee should check their information with the Get Kansas Benefits site. Employees may also need to review whether they have exceeded their total annual maximum benefit amount or the maximum number of weeks of participation in Shared Work.

Can employees work for another employer participating in the Shared Work Program?

An employee may work another job while participating in Shared Work. However, if an employee’s combined hours of work for both employers are equal to or greater than 40 hours of work with the Shared Work participating employer, the employee will not be eligible for Shared Work benefits.

For more details about employee eligibility and how using unemployment benefits for Shared Work could affect an employee’s annual total benefits, please review K-BEN-P 052 (Rev. 12-14) SHARED WORK PROGRAM - Information for Employees.

Will participation affect an employer's unemployment tax rate?

Benefits paid under Shared Work are charged against employers’ accounts when computing (experience) tax rates. Shared Work benefit payments affect employers’ tax rates in the same manner and to the same extent as other benefit charges.