Lay-Offs and Short-Time Working

Employers who find themselves unable to provide work for their employees or who may have to reduce hours of work in the short term are faced with a lay-off/short-time situation.


It should be noted that employers have no right to lay-off employees or place them on short-time unless it is provided for in the contract of employment or by collective agreements.


The lay-off or short-time is intended to be temporary.


Where an employee has been laid off or placed on short-time for 4 consecutive weeks or for a broken period of 6 weeks over a 13 week period, he/she may seek redundancy from the employer. The employee may seek redundancy 4 weeks after the lay-off/short-time commences (if continuous) and any time thereafter should the lay-off/short-time continue.


The employer may issue a counter notice to the request for redundancy but must do so within a period of 7 days of receipt of the employees notice. The employer may accept the request for redundancy or decline the request for redundancy where they are confident they can provide at least 13 weeks unbroken employment starting within 4 weeks of the employee serving notice.