Legal Article - Employment Law

Short-Time and Lay-Off

An employee who is put on short-time working (i.e. due to a reduction of work the employee’s pay falls below half the normal rate) or laid-off (i.e. where the employee’s pay depends on the provision of work and no work is provided that week) may be entitled to a redundancy payment.

Once an employee has been on short-time working or laid off for:

• Either four or more consecutive weeks, or
• a series of six or more weeks, of which no more than three were consecutive, in a period of 13 weeks the employee can claim a redundancy payment.

Once the above conditions have been met, the employee must give his/her employer written notice of intention to claim a redundancy payment within four weeks of the last week of lay-off or short-time working.

If the employer does not wish to pay the redundancy payment, written counter notice must be given within seven days of the date the employee’s notice was served. The employer must state that there is a reasonable expectation of returning to normal working (i.e. no short-time or lay-off within the next 4 weeks for a period of not less than 13 weeks).

The employee must resign, giving a week’s notice or more if the contract requires it, to terminate the contract of employment within the following time limits:

• Where no counter notice has been served by the employer, within three weeks of the expiry of the seven day period
• Where counter notice is served but then withdrawn, within three weeks of the employer’s service of the withdrawn notice
• Where counter notice has not been withdrawn, within three weeks of the tribunal’s decision.

Weeks lost through strikes or lock-out, no matter where these take place, will not be taken into account when applying these redundancy pay provisions. Weeks lost through any other form of industrial action do count.

Published: 02 Jun 2011

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