EWSP (Employment Work Sharing Program)Details:

  • Work-Sharing (WS) is an adjustment program designed to help employers and employees avoid layoffs when there is a temporary reduction in the normal level of business activity that is beyond the control of the employer. The measure provides income support to employees eligible for Employment Insurance benefits who work a temporarily reduced work week while their employer recovers.
  • Work-Sharing is a three-party agreement involving employers, employees and Service Canada. Employees on a Work-Sharing agreement must agree to a reduced schedule of work and to share the available work over a specified period of time.
  • When the company applies, there are 3 criteria:
    • The company needs to be eligible
    • The employees need to be eligible
    • The Officer that will assess if the plan is feasible or if the business is better to do temporary layoffs
  • Your benefits will maintain but may be reduced based on hours of work
  • You will still get STAT Holiday pay paid by Employer, not by the EWSP
  • For the duration of the EWSP, the Employer is not allowed to hire new employees but are allowed to replace people should one decide to leave
  • Training can still happen as it is not covered by EWSP
  • During the WS Agreement, the employer may require an employee to work on a Work Sharing day. The employee is required to report to work as work becomes available.
  • How does this work? For the FT (Full-time employees) the Employer would schedule you for a 5-hour shift but plan to stay for 8 hours if there is work. If you work only 5 hours, then you get paid 5 hours by your employer and then claim EI for the 3 hours you missed. Every week at the end of the week, the Employer and employee have to report what the missed hours are so you get the proper EI.
  •  If there is work to do and you are required to work 8 hours that day, then you can not say “No, I was scheduled for just 5 hours”.
  • You will still get paid overtime if there is so much work that you need to stay overtime.
  • Let’s provide an example – the schedule is Mo, Tue, Wed but not Thursday and Friday, the Employer is allowed to send you home early if there is nothing to do. The idea is to take the work when it’s available and hopefully not have to claim EI. But if there is no work then at least you get EI benefits. (meaning that you get 55% of your hourly rate through EI for the hours you missed)
  • If you are scheduled to work Mo- Fri for example and Sat is your day off but have not been busy Mo- Fri and instead of actually working 40 hours you worked only 20 hours, then if your Employer asks you to come in on Sat and help with the volume of work you are required to come in, even for only 3 hours.
  • The Employer can only apply for 26 weeks initially (6.5 months initially) then get an extension for 12 more weeks if it’s needed, then get another extension for 38 weeks (for a total of 76 weeks which is 19 months)
  • If the business is not picking up and the business is not recovering the way it should, you would be laid off and you can claim full EI – transfer the current EI claim to a regular one.
  • They can not give us a processing time at this point, they say to apply 30 days in advance.
  • The Employer must submit a recovery plan – the better prepared the more chances to be approved.
  • PT ( part-time employees) should be included in the program even if they do not have to reduce their hours and they will determine their eligibility.
  • The reduction of hours can vary from week to week as long as the average reduction over the course of the agreement is from 10% to 60%. The Employer can decide this based on the volume of work.
  • Agreements must begin on a Sunday and end on a Sunday.
  • Once it is approved, an email will be received for verification.
  • Once it is approved the Employer will be set up with an online username and password.
  • The Employer will at that time issue an ROE for each of the employees, the reason is “Code H” – Corona related
  • After this every week the Employer and employee will have to submit the hours worked for each of you and the hours missed