Can I be ‘laid-off’ by my employer due to COVID-19?

Last updated: 05 May 2020

If your employer does not have enough work for you, they can tell you not to work. You should get your full pay unless your contract has an express clause regarding lay off or short-term working but see above.

Where there is an express clause regarding lay-off, employees will be entitled to a guarantee payment of £29 per day (£30 from 6 April 2020) up to a maximum of 5 days of guarantee payments. These minimum payments are clearly set at such a low amount that this will be little assistance.  It may be that there are government announcements forthcoming in respect of this.

If an employee is laid off or on short-time working for either four weeks in a row or six weeks in a rolling 13-week period, they can apply for redundancy and seek redundancy pay. However, complicated rules around giving notice apply, so contact Prospect for more information if this scenario applies.

Any decision to terminate your contract of employment should not be taken lightly as finding other work is likely to be difficult.

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