In an emergency situation like this, some employers may need to make cut-backs to their workforce due to a reduction in demand for work. Employers are able to temporarily lay off employees or put them on short-time working, if they have the contractual power to do so. In such situations where an employee is laid off, they will not be paid as a result. An employee is considered to be on short-time working for a week where they work for some of the week, for proportionately less pay, but are laid off for the remainder of the week.
Employees who are laid off or put on short-time working may be entitled to:
Most employees are entitled to a statutory guarantee payment for any complete day of lay-off. This is known as a “workless day”. Guarantee payments are limited to a maximum of five days’ payment in any three-month period. If the employee is normally contractually required to work less than five days per week (i.e. they are part time), the entitlement cannot exceed the number of days that the employee is required to work under their contract.
An employee may be able to claim Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP) if they are laid-off without pay or put on short-time working and are earning less than half of their weekly wage for either:
If an employer finds the need to vary the normal working hours/days of an employee, they must have an express right to do so within the contract. Employers must give reasonable notice before making such changes.