Layoff Prevention and Assistance

Support While Making Tough Decisions

WorkSource is here to help when it is time for your business to make tough decisions. In the current COVID-19 crisis, many businesses are having to protect their employees by making the call to temporarily lay off. Here is how our team at WorkSource can help.


Options for Employers

Shared Work

Shared Work is an alternative to layoffs. You can reduce employee hours up to 50%. Employees collect partial unemployment. To reach their Help Line call 1-800-752-2500. Visit their website at

For claimants to be on SharedWork, their employers must apply to participate in the SharedWork program. It allows employers to reduce hours by as much as 50 percent, while their employees collect partial benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages. We use the SharedWork chart to deduct their earnings from their weekly benefits.

  • Employers must apply to participate in the program.
  • If approved for SharedWork, employers can request a relief of benefit charges.
  • SharedWork is for employees who are both:
    • Permanent
    • Paid hourly or who can calculate their salaries as an hourly wage.
  • Claimants on SharedWork do not have to look for other work.
  • They must be available for all work offered by their regular employer.
  • Employers must continue to pay for employees’ health insurance.
  • SharedWork plans last one year and have a maximum benefits payable amount.
  • Employees who work fewer hours may run out of benefits more quickly.
  • SharedWork participants may be eligible for benefit extensions.
SharedWork chart

Download the SharedWork Payment Calculation Chart

Use the button below to view and download the chart.

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Standby: What Business Owners Need to Know

Standby is a way for employees to collect unemployment benefits without having to look for other work. Standby is available for employees who have been laid off or had their hours reduced, and who have a probable return-to-work date within 8 weeks of the last day worked.

Employees and employers can find complete information about standby on the Temporary layoffs, standby and partial unemployment page at


Direct Links for Information You Need

Temporary Shutdowns: SharedWork, standby, and partial employment

For a direct link to information from Employment Security about how to help your employees through temporary shutdown, click the button.

Sign In for E-Services

For initial requests for standby of up to 12 weeks and to request relief of benefit charges, click the button to sign in to E-Services.

WA State List of Essential Business

Keep up to date with the list of Essential Business in WA. If you are an essential business, and your employees are choosing not to go to work, ESD will need to know the reason they aren't working to know if they are eligible for benefits.

Permanent Business Closures

If you lay off employees due to a permanent closure, they can apply for unemployment benefits. ESD determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Layoff assistance may be available for businesses facing major layoffs. Click the button for more information.

Getting Help Via Email

You can reach the employer claims center by emailing [email protected]. ESD dedicated experts are here for you, even if they are hard to reach right now.