A lay-off situation arises where an employer is unable to provide work for an employee, but believes this to be a temporary situation and gives notice to this effect before the cessation of the employees work.
A short-time situation arises where, due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done, an employees pay or hours are less than half the normal weekly amount. This must be a temporary situation and the employer must give notice to the employee to this effect before the reduction starts.
Claim for Redundancy by Employee
Where an employee has been laid off or kept on short-time or a mixture of both either for four consecutive weeks or for a broken series of six weeks over a 13 week period, the employee may seek redundancy from the employer should they wish to.
The employee must serve written notice (Form RP9) stating that they intend to claim redundancy because of lay-off or short-time or to terminate their employment (also Form RP9).
The employee can serve either of these notices any time after they have been laid off or placed on short-time for either of the periods mentioned above.
If the short-time or lay-off stops and the employee returns to work, the employee must however serve notice within four weeks after the lay-off or short-time ceases. After that, the employee is debarred from claiming a payment in respect of that particular period of lay-off or short-time.
Counter Notice by Employer
In all these situations, the employer has seven days from the service of notice to give a counter notice to the employee.
The employer must offer the employee a minimum of thirteen weeks unbroken employment starting within four weeks of the employee serving notice, thus indicating that they will contest any claim for a redundancy payment. Again, Redundancy Form RP9 may be used for this purpose.
This counter notice must be given within seven days of receipt of the employee’s notice.
If, however, from the employee’s point of view an unsatisfactory situation persists after the employer has given counter notice, with four more consecutive weeks of short-time or lay-off from their date of notice to claim redundancy, then that employee becomes eligible for redundancy.