Lay-offs and short time-working

An employer can ask an employee to stay at home or take unpaid leave if there’s not enough work, A lay-off is if you are off work for work for at least 1 working day. Short time working is when the hours are cut.

There is no limit for how long you can be laid off or put on short time. You could apply for redundancy and claim redundancy pay if it has been:

  • 4 Weeks in a row
  • 6 weeks in a 13-week period

You should get your full pay unless your contract allows unpaid or reduced pay lay-offs. If you are unpaid you are entitled to guarantee pay.

Guarantee pay

Rate and length of statutory lay-off pay

You are entitled to guarantee pay during lay off or short-time working. The maximum you can get is £29 a day for 5 days in any 3-month period – so a maximum of £145. If you usually earn less than £29 a day you’ll get your normal daily rate. If you work part-time, your entitlement is worked out proportionally. You cannot claim guarantee pay for any day that you do some work.

Eligibility for statutory lay-off pay

You must:

  • have been employed continuously for 1 month (includes part-time workers)
  • reasonably make sure you’re available for work
  • not refuse any reasonable alternative work (including work not in your contract)
  • not have been laid off because of industrial action

Statutory lay-off pay and your employment contract

Your employer may have their own guarantee pay scheme. It cannot be less than the statutory arrangements. If you get your employer’s payments, you do not get statutory lay-off pay on top of this.

Not paying guarantee pay counts as an unlawful deduction from your wages – you could make a claim to an employment tribunal.

If you are an employer please contact us before laying off your employees.

If you are an employee who has been laid off and is not receiving guarantee pay please contact us. We can help!!