The Connecticut Department of Labor's voluntary Shared Work program offers employers an alternative to layoffs during economic downturns.

The program was designed to preserve jobs and the skilled workforce during a disruption in regular business.

Employers can reduce work hours for an entire group of affected employees rather than laying off some while others continue to work full time.

The program provides a weekly unemployment compensation payment to the employees whose work weeks have been reduced. It also ensures that these workers will be available for regular hours when business returns.