Cutting Overheads - Short Term Working

Employers that are facing a down turn in trade, may wish to temporarily reduce their wage bill. This can be achieved with ‘Short Term Working’. 

In order to facilitate a period of Short Term Working, you must have previously made provision to implement such a procedure in your contract of employment. Should you have such a provision you can then look to plan your reductions. 

For each member of staff, you can reduce their hours, by no more than 50% and for no longer than 4 consecutive weeks. Further they should not be placed on short term working for more than 6 weeks in a 13 week period. In effect this means that should you choose to reduce someone’s hours for the full 4 weeks, you will have to place them back to their full hours for the next 12 weeks before you can implement another reduction. 

If an employee is laid for a longer than the above periods, they may be able to request a redundancy payout. This may end up costing you a lot more than you anticipated; we therefore recommend that you keep will within the above timescales.  

Published: 19 Mar 2012

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