The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program can be particularly beneficial in returning employees to work during an uncertain time as it allows employers the flexibility to scale up or scale down the workforce based on changing business needs. It can help return employees safely back to work while social distancing and providing flexible scheduling. Accounts for contributory and reimbursable employers participating in the Shared Work program will not be charged for Shared Work through December 26, 2020.
The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program is an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. It allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. To participate, an employer must complete an application for the affected unit within the company, and submit it to the Division of Employment Security (DES) for approval.
The DES may approve a Shared Work Plan if:
- There is an “affected unit” of three or more employees.
- The normal weekly hours of work and corresponding wages for a participating employee are reduced in the plan by not less than 20 percent and no more than 40 percent.
- The plan applies to at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit.
- The employer certifies that the fringe benefits provided will remain the same as if their normal hours had not been reduced, or to the same extent as other employees not participating in the Shared Work Program.
- The employer certifies that the implementation of a Shared Work Plan and the resulting reduction in work hours is in lieu of a layoff that would affect at least 10 percent of the employees in the affected unit and that would result in an equivalent reduction in work hours.
- The employer has submitted all quarterly contribution and wage reports required to be filed for all past and current periods, and has paid all taxes due for all past and current periods.
How to File an Application
Employers may fill out a Shared Work application online at UInteract.labor.mo.gov. If you do not have an account set up in UInteract, please click here. To file your application in UInteract, login, select Benefits (upper right corner) > Unemployment Claim > Shared Work> Shared Work Application. Applications will not be approved if there is an outstanding balance for unemployment taxes. Once the application has been processed, you will be contacted about any issues, or upon approval when you will be notified of your plan number, as well as your options for adding employees and submitting hours. Be sure to include a phone number and email on the application.
Employee Eligibility Program
- An individual must accept all normal work hours offered by the participating employer for the claim period filed.
- An individual must be able to work and be available for normal work hours with the participating employer.
- An individual must be eligible for regular unemployment benefits in the State of Missouri.
Process Once the Application is Filed
If the plan is approved, the employer must complete a request for payment for each week employees are to receive Shared Work benefits. Hours are reported by calendar week online through UInteract and must be reported within two weeks of the week ending date. For more details and tips on how to file a certification/request for payment, please click here.
- Employees on the Shared Work plan are still required to serve a waiting week and must be eligible for regular unemployment benefits to receive benefit payments.
- If an employee does not submit direct deposit information through UInteract, a Missouri Access debit card will be mailed to the employee at the address on file.
- For 40 hour/week employees to qualify for payment, they must physically work at least 24 hours and be paid for no more than 32 hours for the week.
- Shared Work employees do not need to file a claim or submit a weekly request for payment for Shared Work weeks; instead, the employer submits hours thereby requesting payment for employees.
- Salaried employees must have an equal reduction in hours and pay to qualify. Their hours and pay are calculated on a normal work week not to exceed 40 hours.
- Shared Work is based on hours worked for the Shared Work employer. Weekly wages are not reported.
- Part-time employees are eligible for Shared Work; the 20-40% reduction in hours will be based on their normal weekly work hours.
- The DES advises employers taking advantage of the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to notify their employees as soon as possible. For information about unemployment and the PPP, visit labor.mo.gov/coronavirus.
If you have questions about the Missouri Shared Work program or would like to discuss the program’s benefits for your specific company needs, feel free to contact our Shared Work specialists directly by phone or email.
For General Information About Unemployment
For information about unemployment, visit labor.mo.gov and chose either the tab for ‘Employers’ or ‘Unemployed Workers.’ Employees may update their contact information, check payments, and change their tax withholding 24/7 online by accessing their UInteract account.