Shared Work Program eligibility

Participation in the Shared Work Program is governed under state and federal laws. Some of the basic requirements are below. You can view a more robust list of requirements or read the Shared Work laws or Shared Work regulations written by legislature.

Businesses must:

  • Be legally registered in Washington for at least six months prior to applying for the program.
  • Be current on unemployment taxes or a payment contract.
  • Enroll a minimum of two permanent employees in the Shared Work plan.
  • Comply with IRS, state, county and municipal laws, rules and ordinances.

Employees of the business who are enrolled in Shared Work must be:

  • Hired permanently and paid hourly (corporate officers are not eligible).
  • Eligible for regular unemployment benefits.
  • Able to and available for work all hours offered by the Shared Work employer.

Length of plan

An employer’s Shared Work plan can last up to one year. If your business’ request is for less than a year, it still counts as your one plan for the year. In most instances, it is best to open a plan for the full year so it will be available if you need it.


A designated representative of your business will work directly with a special team at the Shared Work unit on all matters about your plan and your participating employees' unemployment claims.

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