Monday, March 16, 2009

Governor Rell: State's Shared Work Program helping to Save Jobs During Economic Downturn

Governor M. Jodi Rell today reminded employers that a state program can provide them with a viable alternative to layoffs during the current economic downturn.
Connecticut's Shared Work Program allows a business to reduce the work schedule of permanent, full-time employees during a temporary decline in business. An employer can reduce hours rather than laying off part of the work force during slow times. In turn, affected employees will receive partial unemployment insurance benefits to supplement the wages they lose.
"Approximately 300 businesses in Connecticut are currently taking advantage of this program," Governor Rell said. "Many of them are manufacturing companies that value their skilled work force but do not have enough current orders to keep their employees working full-time.
"This program helps to alleviate costly retraining expenses that would otherwise be incurred as the result of a layoff," the Governor said. "It's a win-win situation when workers can continue to bring home a paycheck and employers know their highly skilled - and highly valued - employees will be ready to go when the economy rebounds."
Governor Rell pointed out that under the Shared Work Program, employees retain their jobs, financial security, health insurance and retirement benefits. In addition, they avoid the economic and emotional hardships caused by a layoff and the stress of having to look for a new job.
"The program gives employers the option of temporarily reducing personnel costs in lieu of layoffs," Governor Rell said. "Employers can maintain continuity in their work force during a downturn, which will allow them to be well-positioned and ready for future business upswings."
The Shared Work program is available to Connecticut companies that meet several basic eligibility requirements that include the following:
* Employers must have at least four full-time, permanent employees participating. Part-time and seasonal employees are not eligible
* Employers cannot eliminate or reduce employee fringe benefits
* Employee hours and wages cannot be reduced by less than 20 percent or more than 40 percent
* Program participation must be in lieu of a layoff of an equivalent percentage of employees
* Employees must be able to work and be available for full-time employment with the participating employer
* Employees must meet all regular unemployment compensation requirements
For additional information about the Shared Work Program or to obtain an application, contact the Department of Labor via e-mail at or visit the agency's Web site at and click on the "Employer Services" section.


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