Lay-Offs and Short-Time Working

Your employer can ask you to stay at home or take unpaid leave if there is not enough work for you.

A lay-off is if you are off work for at least 1 working day. Short-time working is when your hours are cut.

How long you can be laid off

There is no limit for how long you can be laid off or put on short-time. You could apply for redundancy and claim redundancy pay if it has been: 

  • 4 weeks in a row 

  • 6 weeks in a 13-week period 

Lay-off pay entitlement and short-time working payments 

You should get your full pay unless your contract allows unpaid or reduced pay lay-offs. 

If you are unpaid, you are entitled to guarantee pay. 

See also: 

For further information on lay-offs and short-time working please see GOV.UK's website.