The Texas Workforce Commission Provides an Alternative to Layoffs During COVID-19
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is encouraging employers to enroll in Shared Work program as an alternative to layoffs. The voluntary Shared Work program was developed to help Texas employers and employees withstand a slowdown in business such as the impact of COVID-19.
Shared Work allows employers to supplement their employees’ wages lost because of reduced work hours with partial unemployment benefits. Under the program employers can reduce normal weekly work hours for employees in an affected unit by at least 10 percent but not more than 40 percent. Shared Work unemployment benefits are payable to employees who qualify for and participate in an approved Shared Work Plan. Workers may choose not to participate. Employees who qualify will receive both wages and Shared Work unemployment benefits.
The employer can use the Shared Work Plan only for employees whose hours have been reduced. Shared Work benefits can be paid only for wages lost because of a reduction in the employee’s regular hours. Regular hours may not exceed 40 hours. An employee who normally works overtime may not receive shared work benefits for a reduction in their overtime hours.
Shared work employees must:
- Submit their unemployment claims on Unemployment Benefits Services
- Be eligible for regular unemployment benefits
- Accept all work offered by the participating employer
- Be able and available for work with the employer