ACAS Advice on Lay-offs, Short-time Working and Using Holidays

Lay-offs and short-time working

In some situations, an employer might need to close down their business for a short time, or ask staff to reduce their contracted hours.

If the employer thinks they’ll need to do this, it’s important to talk with staff as early as possible and throughout the closure.

Unless it says in the contract or is agreed otherwise, they still need to pay their employees for this time.

Employees who are laid off and are not entitled to their usual pay might be entitled to a ‘statutory guarantee payment’ of up to £30 a day from their employer.

This is limited to a maximum of 5 days in any period of 3 months. On days when a guarantee payment is not payable, employees might be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance from Jobcentre Plus.

Find out more about:

Using holiday for a temporary workplace closure

Employers have the right to tell employees and workers when to take holiday if they need to.  An employer could, for example, shut for a week and tell everyone to use their holiday entitlement.

Find out more about using holiday.