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Frequent Questions

Workshare - an Alternative to Layoffs

Employers may be able to avoid layoffs by choosing the WorkShare alternative. Previously, in a temporary layoff situation, employers who hoped to reemploy their workers ran the risk of losing those skilled workers to other business opportunities. The WorkShare program, however, allows employers to retain their skilled workers during times of slowdown by simply reducing the work hours of a larger group of employees.

Employees whose hours and wages are reduced would be eligible to receive a portion of their regular unemployment insurance benefits to compensate for the lost wages.

In addition to sparing employers the potential lost of its existing workforce, WorkShare also spares a company's employees the financial and emotional hardship associated with a layoff situation.


Employers can now access WorkShare application documents here on this site. If you’re interested in applying for WorkShare, we encourage you to review the information available on this web page.

If you feel your company and employees meet the criteria for approval, complete the application materials under the FORMS box to the right on this webpage, and fax to (401) 462-8506. You will be contacted by a member of our WorkShare Unit within 48 hours.

Let us know what you think!! Email us at dlt.workshare@dlt.ri.gov.



Watch a VideoClick here to watch Senator Jack Reed
talk about the benefits of Workshare

Advantages of Workshare

> Retain skilled workers
> Reduce hiring and retraining costs when business improves
> Improve employee morale
> Avoid financial and emotional hardships usually associated with layoffs
A business meeting

Eligibility of Workshare

WorkShare is available to any employer with two or more employees. Interested employers may apply for Workshare by calling our Employer phone line at (401) 462-8418. Employees who normally work for the employer submitting a WorksShare plan and who would normally be eligible to receive regular unemployment insurance benefits in Rhode Island are eligible to participate in WorkShare. The following also apply:
  • The employee must serve a waiting period before receiving Workshare benefits, unless a
    waiting period has already been served on an existing claim.

  • During the week, the individual is employed as a member of an affected unit under a Workshare plan which was approved prior to that week, and the plan is in effect the week for which Workshare benefits are claimed.

  • The individual is able to work and is available for the normal work week with the Workshare employer.

  • The employee must work all the hours offered by the Workshare employer in any given week up to the employee's usual weekly hours.

  • If an individual has earnings in the same week with another employer, those earnings will not affect the individual's Workshare benefits.

  • The employee can receive a maximum of 52 weeks of WorkShare benefits during a single benefit year.

A Skilled Laborer at work

RI Department of Labor and Training
Center General Complex
1511 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-8000
Fax (401) 462-8666
TTY via RI Relay: 711
12/11/18 MDF
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