LAY-OFFS - How Do You Lay-Off An Employee? 

The manner in which you can lay off staff is set out in Section 11 of the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967. 
Unfortunately, the Section raises almost as many questions as it answers. 
The Act states that an employer may lay-off an employee where the work for which the employee is employed to do is no longer available and the employer genuinely believes that the lay-off will be temporary. The test is an objective one. 
Payment of Wages 
If the employee’s contract contains a clause stating that the employer may lay-off the employee, then the Courts have decided that such a lay-off would be, of course, be without pay. The situation is not quite so clear where there is no such term in the Contract. However, from an analysis of the court decisions to date, it would be a reasonable assumption that there would be absolutely no point in being able to lay people off and then having to pay them. 
Therefore, on balance, although there has been no decision that we can find directly on this point, it is reasonably safe to say that when you lay people off you no longer have to pay their wages. 
What Notice Must Be Given? 
The Form RP 9 which can be obtained on the website of the Dept of Social Protection should be used. The courts have held that it is not necessary to use that form in order for a period of lay-off to be valid. However, as a matter of good practice you should do so. The form refers to notice being given but there is no specific notice period. 
It goes without saying that Employers who are considering that staff lay-offs may become necessary in the near future, should give staff as much notice as possible, so that staff can make arrangements in their personal lives. 
For employers who are considering laying off staff, we suggest you contact us and we will assist you in making the decision as painless as possible. 
For further information please call Hugh O’Neill on 01 873 2134, email hugh.o’ or fill in the ‘Contact Us’ form on to receive a call back. 
For further information: 
please call Hugh O’Neill on 01 873 2134,  
email hugh.o’ or  
fill in the ‘Contact Us’ form on  
to receive a call back. 
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