Temporary Lay Off

Temporary Lay Off Ireland

Temporary Lay Off Ireland

Temporary lay off in Ireland is when an employer temporarily denies work, and the employer intends to reinstate the worker if the situation improves. This article discusses the reasons for termination, the process,  available financial assistance, legal aspects, and how to prepare to return to work.  

Reasons for Temporary Layoffs

Temporary layoffs often occur due to unforeseen circumstances that impact a company’s operations. Some common reasons include:

  1. Economic downturns
  2. Seasonal fluctuations in demand
  3. Technological changes
  4. Natural disasters
  5. Pandemics

Employer’s Obligations

Employers are responsible for complying with employment law during a temporary layoff. They must:

  1. Provide proper notice
  2. Consult with employees
  3. Follow relevant provisions in the employment contract
  4. Ensure employees are aware of their rights

Employee’s Rights

During a temporary layoff, employees have certain rights, such as:

  1. Receiving proper notice
  2. Being consulted regarding the layoff
  3. Receiving written confirmation of the layoff
  4. Accessing financial support
  5. Right to return to work once the layoff ends

The Process of Temporary Layoffs

Notice Period

In Ireland, employers must give at least one week’s notice before implementing a furlough unless a shorter notice period is specified in the employment contract. In an emergency, employers may need to implement staff reductions immediately.  

Consultation and Communication

Employers should have meaningful discussions with employees, explaining the reasons for dismissal and how long the dismissal may last. This enables employees to make informed decisions and receive advice on their rights and entitlements.  

Duration and Re-employment

Temporary layoffs can last for a specified or unspecified period but should not be indefinite. Once the reason for the layoff no longer exists, the employer is expected to re-employ the affected employees.

Financial Support During Temporary Layoffs

Jobseeker’s Benefit

Employees temporarily laid off may be eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit, a weekly payment from the Department of Social Protection.

Short-Time Work Support

The reduced working hours support system is intended for employees working three days or less weekly. This service aims to help people stay connected with their employers. 

Legal Aspects of Temporary Layoffs

Employment Contracts and Legislation

Employers should review their employment contracts to make sure they include layoff clauses. If the contract does not contain such a provision, the employer may be required to obtain the employee’s consent before conducting the dismissal. 

In addition to contractual provisions, employers must comply with the relevant employment legislation, such as the Redundancy Payments Acts, the Unfair Dismissals Acts, and the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

Disputes and Resolution

In a dispute between an employer and an employee regarding dismissal, the employer may seek advice from the Work Relations Commission (WRC) or mediate to resolve the matter. 

Preparing for a Return to Work

Health and Safety Measures

Employers should ensure that appropriate health and safety measures are in place when planning for employees to return to work after a layoff. This includes conducting risk assessments, implementing social distancing measures, providing personal protective equipment (PPE), and ensuring good hygiene practices.  

Reintegrating Employees

Reintegrating employees after a temporary layoff can be challenging. Employers should communicate with returning employees, provide necessary training or upskilling, and address any concerns or anxieties they may have.


What is a temporary layoff? 

A temporary layoff is when an employee is not provided with work by their employer for a temporary period to re-employ them when the situation improves.

What are some common reasons for temporary layoffs? 

Temporary layoffs often occur due to economic downturns, seasonal fluctuations in demand, technological changes, natural disasters, or pandemics.

What are the employee’s rights during a temporary layoff?

Employees have the right to receive proper notice, be consulted about the layoff, receive written confirmation, access financial support, and return to work when the layoff ends.

What financial support is available for employees during a temporary layoff? 

Depending on the circumstances, workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits or short-time work benefits.

How can employers prepare for employees to return to work after a temporary layoff?

Employers should ensure that appropriate health and safety measures are in place, communicate with returning employees, provide necessary training and upskilling, and address any concerns or concerns that may arise. is needed. 

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