Even in the best run organisation, circumstances can sometimes arise which lead to a temporary reduction in work. A carefully developed strategy for managing the recruitment and turnover of employees can help minimise the need for lay-offs or short time working.
When employees are not provided with work by their employer, and the situation is expected to be temporary, they are regarded as being laid off. There is a general right at common law to tell most employees not to turn up for work but there is no general right not to pay them because work is not available. Employees can be laid off without pay where there is a specific term in their contract allowing the employer to do so.
When employees are laid off, they may be entitled to a statutory guarantee payment from the employer. Payment is limited to a maximum of five days in any period of three months and the daily amount is subject to an upper limit which is reviewed annually.See:
A lock-out is when an employer refuses to allow their employees on the premises and does not allow them to work. It is a form of industrial action taken by employers rather than employees and normally occurs when employees refuse to undertake certain work/accept new terms and conditions.See:
An employee who has been dismissed by their employer and who presents a claim of Unfair Dismissal to the Industrial Tribunal has an obligation to mitigate their loss; they must take all steps necessary to seek alternative work to reduce their financial loss as a result of the dismissal. Failure to do so could result in a reduction in their compensation.See:
The Agency’s Workplace Information Service is available to employers, employees, trade unions and others. Workplace Information Service advisors provide information and advice on a wide range of employment matters. The Workplace Information Service is also an important contact point for identifying circumstances, or clients, who would benefit from being referred to other Agency services.
The Workplace Information Service provides clear, confidential, independent and impartial advice to assist the caller in resolving issues in the workplace.
While the advisors cannot provide a legal opinion they can help callers gain a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as well as identifying possible options to help resolve their issues.