Losing Your Job

The shock of losing a job, or the prospect of reduced hours / pay, can be acute and traumatic for people. It is very important that you understand options that may be offered and how those options will affect you.

Changes to Working Conditions

If your employer is proposing any change to your terms and conditions or employment, such as Reduced Hours or Pay, Short-time or Lay off, you should ask your employer to give you written details of this proposed change and ask for a review date. If you accept the change, you should reply in writing, confirming that your acceptance is on the basis that this is a temporary situation and that you will be returning to your original hours / pay in the future.

Reduced Hours or Pay

A reduced working hours situation occurs where your employer proposes a reduction to your pay or hours, but that reduction is not less than half the normal weekly amount of your normal pay / hours. This is a change to your terms and conditions of employment and must be agreed with you.

If you do not agree and say you wish to continue working as before your employer could decide to make you redundant. If this happens you may bring a claim for Unfair Dismissal.

Short-time

A short-time situation occurs when there is a reduction in the amount of work available, and applies where the reduction to your pay or hours is less than half the normal weekly amount of your normal pay / hours. Short-term is a change to your terms and conditions of employment and must be agreed with you. This must be a temporary situation and your employer must notify you before the reduction in hours / pay starts. Your employer can seed to put you on short time if it is in your contract of employment or custom and practice in your workplace.

Lay off

A lay-off situation arises where your employer is temporarily unable to provide work for you. Your employer can lay you off if it is in your contract of employment or it is custom and practice in your employment and must be agreed with you. This must be a temporary situation and your employer must notify you before the reduction in hours / pay starts.

Both Short-Time and Lay Off

If you do not agree to Short-time or Lay off your employer could seek to make you redundant. If a short-time or lay off situation exists and has continued for 4 weeks or more, or for 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks, and your employer cannot guarantee you at least 13 weeks employment you may be able to claim redundancy. This is considered voluntary redundancy and you are not entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice.

There is no limit on the number of times an employer may put an employee on short-time or lay off, as long as the employer can guarantee at least 13 weeks employment. However, if it becomes apparent that the short-time or lay off is no longer temporary then the situation could be considered a redundancy.

For more information on this subject contact the INOU: Phone (01) 8560088         Email welfare@inou.ie