Shared Work Program
By: Ethan Deimeke, Division of Employment Security
The Shared Work program through the Division of Employment Security experienced another
year of success in 2021. Over 300 public and private employers in numerous industries utilized
the flexible alternative to layoffs, benefitting over 20,000 Missouri employees. Hundreds of
businesses retained their workforces, thousands of employees stayed at work, and countless
communities reaped the rewards. With 2022 around the corner and seasonal layoffs
approaching, now is the perfect time to get up to speed on Shared Work and learn how it can
benefit your business.
Shared Work allows an employer to divide the work that is available among a group of
employees instead of laying off. Eligible employees receive regular employer benefits along
with a portion of their unemployment while working a reduced schedule. When business
returns to normal, the employer is in a competitive position because they have a fully intact,
highly-skilled workforce ready to return to work without the lost time, money and productivity
associated with recruiting, hiring and training new employees.
As an active unemployment program since 1987, Shared Work is time-tested and proven
effective with tangible benefits. The program was utilized to incredible success by the Missouri
Department of Transportation in 2020, who needed to reduce labor costs but did not want to
layoff valuable staff. Utilizing Shared Work, the Department saved $14 million while retaining
thousands of trained, capable employees. This is an important example of Shared Work keeping
Missouri employees at work and employers in operation.
The winter brings uncertainty for many employers and industries and Shared Work is able to
provide a safety net to those impacted by layoffs. If your business is facing a work shortage or
layoff in the coming months, Shared Work may be a fantastic solution to keep employees at
work and be ready to ramp back up to full production when conditions improve.
For more information on Shared Work and to learn how to enroll, visit sharedwork.mo.gov.