Policy Chapters and Sections

Work Experience (WEP)

Chapter: 8 Section: 1.4.23
Effective Date: 6/3/2019
Expiration Date: Continuing
Published Date: 11/22/2019 9:02:23 PM
Status: Current
Version: 1

Tags: Work Experience, Work , Experience, Training

Work Experience (WEP) should be used for individuals who have limited work experience or have been out of the labor force for an extended period of time including, but not limited to, students, school dropouts and individuals with disabilities. WEP must be limited to persons who need assistance to become accustomed to basic work requirements, including basic work skills, in order to successfully compete in the labor market.

WEP may be used to provide:  

  • Instructions concerning work habits and employer and employee relationships in a work environment
  • An improved work history and work references  
  • An opportunity to actively participate in a specific work field  
  • An opportunity to progressively master more complex tasks

WEPs may be paid or unpaid; however it is strongly encouraged that organizations pay individuals for work performed.

Wages, Insurance and Benefits  

If the WEP participant is paid wages, the wages must be no less than the higher of the federal or state minimum wage. In most WEP situations, the WIOA Title I service provider is the employer of record. If paid, WEP participants must always be paid for time worked and must not be paid for any scheduled hours they failed to attend without good cause.

Each participant in WEP must be covered either by Workers' Compensation in accordance with state law or by adequate on-site medical and accident insurance.

Participants in WEP are exempt from unemployment compensation insurance. Therefore, unemployment compensation costs are not allowable.

Under certain conditions, participants in a wage paying WEP may be paid for time spent attending other activities. Such payments may only be made if WEP participation is scheduled for more than 50 percent of the scheduled training time in all activities. Usually, the participant will be enrolled simultaneously in both the WEP activity and the other activity.

If the work experience is paid, in addition to the guidelines listed here, other State and federal regulations governing employment situations apply to WEP as well.

Worksite Eligibility

Work Experience may take place in the for-profit, non-profit, or public sector. A participant cannot be placed in a WEP with an employer where the participant is already employed in an unsubsidized position.

A WEP must not be used as a substitute for Public Service Employment (community service) activities as a result of court-adjudication.

WEP Length of Training

A WEP agreement at one worksite can be written for a maximum of 13 calendar weeks, unless the agreement is for a part-time WEP of fewer than 520 hours, then WEP activity period can be extended to a maximum of 26 weeks.

Accessibility Statement
Terms & Conditions
Iowa Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. For deaf and hard of hearing, use Relay 711.