Businesses can avoid layoffs with Shared Work

By Chad Pearson, Shared Work Marketing Manager, Employment Security Department

It can happen to any business. Demand for your product or service slips. Maybe the market goes in the tank. All you know is your business is in a fix, and you’ve got hard decisions to make.

You don’t want to lay off your skilled employees, but what else can you do to cut costs?

The Employment Security Department provides an alternative. It’s called Shared Work.

Under the program, businesses can reduce the hours of permanent employees, who can then collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. This translates into immediate payroll savings and prevents the loss of skilled employees.

Sterling Ramberg, co-owner of The Gear Works, had this to say about Shared Work: “We invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in our employees’ training and couldn’t afford to lose them. Shared Work helped us avoid that.”

The flexibility of the program also makes it attractive. Your business can enroll some or all of your employees. You use it only when needed, and you can vary each employee’s reduction anywhere from 10 to 50 percent per week.

Recent surveys show that Shared Work helps keep skilled workers, reduces payroll costs and improves employee morale. Employers who have used the program consistently recommend it to others.

To learn more,  visit www.esd.wa.gov/shared-work or call 800-752-2500.