When Business Slows Down, New York’s Shared Work Program Helps You Retain Valued Employees

When Business Slows Down, New York’s Shared Work Program Helps You Retain Valued Employees

Perhaps the only thing harder than finding valued employees these days is having to lay off employees when business slows down. The New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) has a long-standing program that gives you an alternative to lay-offs. It’s called The Shared Work Program. Here are some highlights…

Who Is Eligible?

If you have two or more full-time employees in NYS; you have paid into unemployment insurance for at least four consecutive calendar quarters; and participation helps your organization avoid layoffs, you are eligible to apply.

What Is the Shared Work Program?

Rather than lay off valued talent during a slow period, the program allows you to reduce hours across the board for all employees or within a defined workgroup. Employees who are impacted can make up a portion of lost wages due to a reduction in hours via unemployment insurance.

For example, let’s say work is slowing down. Rather than lay off employees in the XYZ department, you file a Shared Work Plan with the NYS DOL and receive approval to reduce XYZ employees’ hours 20% for 10 weeks. Impacted employees can file for Unemployment Insurance and collect 20% of their weekly benefit. (That’s in addition to the reduced pay they receive from you for working the reduced hours.) As a result, the employees have more income than if they were laid off, and you have a valuable way to retain employees.

When should I get the process started?

Reach out to the Shared Work Program less than one month before the proposed start date. You’ll use that time to create a Shared Work Plan and apply for program approval.

Where can I learn more and apply?

For program details – including FAQs, informational videos, a program fact sheet, references from organizations and employees who have benefited from the program, how to apply, and more, click here.

Why does the NYS DOL offer this program?

This win-win program supports organizations during challenging times by helping them retain valued employees. At the same time, it helps employees stay employed and make up a portion of wages lost due to a reduction in hours.


Develop a Shared Work plan and then apply online. You’ll be assigned a dedicated representative to help guide you. Approvals are granted within 48 hours and can be adjusted weekly. Once business picks up, you can quickly resume normal operations with the same employees you have come to count on…and who knows they can count on you.


We hope this reminder proves useful. Please know you can always count on RBT CPAs for all your accounting, tax, audit, and advisory needs. To learn more, give us a call today. RBT CPAs does not outsource work to any other country. All of our work is prepared in the U.S.A.