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Approved Shared Work agreement FAQs

Frequently asked questions by employers with approved Shared Work Agreements.

When should Shared Work employees apply for a benefit account? q1

Shared Work employees should apply for a benefit account no later than Friday of the first week their hours are reduced.

Why do Shared Work employees apply for unemployment benefits? q2

Shared Work benefits are unemployment insurance benefits. That is why many of the requirements of Shared Work are the same as unemployment insurance. Shared Work benefits paid out also affect the employer's account the same as unemployment insurance.

Do Shared Work employees have to serve a nonpayable week? q3

Yes. The law requires that the first week an employee participating in the Shared Work Program requests a benefit payment, and is eligible, is not paid. To get credit for the nonpayable week, the employee must request a payment and meet all eligibility requirements for that week.

Why does our employee have a 'not established' account? q4

The employee answered "No" to the question "Did you work for this employer?" (the employer being you) when they completed the application. The employer must e-mail Shared.Work@state.mn.us and request that the account be withdrawn.

Are Shared Work benefits taxable? q5

Yes. Benefits paid for Shared Work are taxable for Minnesota and Federal income tax purposes. At the end of the year, employees who were paid benefits will receive an IRS Form 1099-G listing the total amount of benefits paid to them during the preceding calendar year.

How does paid leave (vacation, sick, holiday, PTO) affect an employee's weekly benefit payment? q6

Employees may use paid leave on days not designated as a Shared Work day off without any effect on their benefit payment.

How should leave (vacation, sick, holiday, PTO) be reported? q7

Employees should report hours of leave taken in a week as hours worked. Each week when your employees make a request for benefit payment, they will enter the total number of hours worked, which includes holiday, vacation, sick or PTO hours taken. For example, if they worked 24 hours and used 8 hours of vacation, they would enter 32 hours worked.

What other type of income may affect an employee's Shared Work benefits? q8

Social Security benefits, some pensions, and workers' compensation are deductible from weekly benefits. Overpayments owed to the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program are also deducted from weekly benefits.

Why is child support being deducted from an employee's Shared Work benefits? q9

The Shared Work program is required by law to deduct child support from weekly benefit payments. Employees with child support deducted from their weekly benefits, should contact their county child support worker regarding the additional deduction.

Some employees have a second job. How does that affect their Shared Work benefits? q10

If the combination of hours worked in any week is more than 32, no benefits will be paid.

If I have work for an employee listed on my Shared Work Agreement, can I contact them to work on their designated Shared Work day off? q11

You may offer work to your participants on the Shared Work day off; however, participants are not required to be available for work on the Shared Work day off.

How can I find out the amount of benefits being paid to my employees (and charged to my account)? q12

Benefits paid to employees (and charged to your account) can be viewed online by logging in to your Unemployment Insurance employer account.

Step-by-step instructions for Reviewing Benefit Paid Charge Activities are available in the Employer Self-Service System User Guide.

What should I do if an error is found when reviewing the Benefit Paid Charge Activities? q13

Notify the Shared Work program of the error immediately by sending an e-mail to Shared.Work@state.mn.us

What should I do in the event of a temporary or permanent layoff of an employee who is participating in the Shared Work Program? q14

  1. Email: Shared.Work@state.mn.us by NOON on the Friday before the affected employee's last day worked*.
  2. Subject: Remove from Shared Work plan.
  3. In the body of the e-mail, list the:
    • employer's: Business name, Minnesota unemployment insurance employer account number, and Shared Work agreement number
    • employee's: Name, Social Security number, last day worked and reason for separation.

*Any delay in notifying us causes a delay in the applicant receiving full unemployment benefits.

Can we have a scheduled shutdown while being on Shared Work? q15

Yes. Your Shared Work Agreement can provide for a scheduled shutdown of up to two weeks. Notify the Shared Work Program at least two weeks in advance of the shutdown.

How does a shutdown affect an employee's benefits? q16

During a shutdown, employees may collect full unemployment benefits while remaining on the Shared Work agreement. If an employee receives vacation pay during the shutdown, the vacation pay is deductible from the weekly benefit amount.

If a full layoff occurs, how are an employee's unemployment benefits affected by prior payment of Shared Work benefits? q17

Upon full layoff the employee becomes eligible for their full weekly unemployment benefit amount. Their maximum benefit amount will be reduced by the amount of Shared Work benefits they have already received.

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