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IDES WorkShare Program

IDES WorkShare Program
August 16, 2023 Billy George

Having to reduce your workforce is never a situation an employer desires, but occasionally it occurs. Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offers WorkShare IL, a voluntary program that provides employers facing a decline in business with an alternative to layoffs. The program allows an employer to reduce the number of hours worked in any unit of their business in order to avoid permanent layoffs. Each employee in an affected unit continues to work but experiences a reduction in hours that ranges from 20% to 60%. Employees receive a corresponding percentage of unemployment benefits during the period of temporary reduction to offset the reduction in earnings. 

 WorkShare IL benefits employers and employees by maintaining a trained workforce during temporary periods of business downturn. Employers can avoid turnover costs associated with hiring and training new employees. The program minimizes significant increases to employers’ unemployment insurance costs. Also, employers can have multiple plans, allowing the flexibility to tailor plans for the needs of business units. 

 The program benefits employees by allowing them to keep their job and avoid a temporary or permanent layoff. Employees receive weekly unemployment benefits to offset the partial loss in earnings. Employees continue to receive all fringe benefits under the same terms and conditions. 

Employees are not required to conduct ongoing job searches. 

 If you are an employer and want to apply, please go to the WorkShare e-Services website or contact the WorkShare Program 

 Andrea Schultz Winter is currently the Development Director for the Greater Freeport Partnership. She can be reached at or 815-233-1354. 

(source: IDES Website)