A short-time situation exists where there is a reduction in the amount of work available, leading to a reduction in:

  • Weekly earnings to less than half the normal weekly earnings or
  • The hours worked to less than half the normal weekly working 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 seek to put you on short time if it is in your contract of employment or custom and practice in your workplace.

The employer must give notice that the short-time is of a temporary nature, with failure to do so leaving him open to claims for redundancy payment.

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.