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Being laid off or put on short-time working

This advice applies to England

You might be ‘laid off’, put on ‘short-time working’ or told to take unpaid holiday if your employer doesn’t have enough work for you.

It’s usually a short-term situation because your employer’s struggling. Depending on your situation, you might be able to claim redundancy pay. 

Check your contract

Your employer can only lay you off or put you on short-time working if your contract specifically says they can. If it’s not mentioned in your contract, they can’t do it.

Your contract can be written, a verbal agreement or what normally happens in your company. It might also be called your 'terms and conditions'.

If you’re a member of a trade union, your union can help you work out if it’s allowed. You can also speak to your colleagues if you’re not sure what’s usual in your company.

If you think you’re being discriminated against

If you think your employer is targeting you because of your sex, race or something else, you might be able to take action - check if your problem at work is discrimination.

If your contract allows lay off or short-time working

If your contract doesn't allow lay off or short-time working

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