Lay-offs from the employer's perspective

If the organisation of your employees' working hours or additional training does not solve your company's difficult situation, you can avoid dismissals with lay-offs. In this case, the employee's work and payment of salary will end, but the employment relationship will continue.

In the lay-off process, your employee's work and payment of salary are temporarily interrupted, but your employment relationship does not end. Lay-offs can be either full-time or part-time. In part-time lay-offs, your employees only work part of their daily or weekly working hours.

As an employer, you can decide on the need for lay-offs unilaterally, but you can also agree on lay-offs together with your employee.

Lay-offs always require justifications

As an employer, you can lay off your employees either indefinitely or for a fixed term. You may lay an employee off on two different grounds.

You may lay off an employee for an indefinite period if you would have a financial or production-related reason to also dismiss the employee. The amount of work must have decreased substantially and permanently, and you must not be able to offer the employee any other work or training.

If your opportunity to offer work has been temporarily reduced, you can lay off your employee for a fixed term. Fixed-term lay-offs can last up to 90 days. In this case, too, the precondition for lay-offs is that you cannot offer your employee other work or training.

Lay-offs primarily apply to your permanent employees. You can lay off a fixed-term employee only if they work as a substitute for your permanent employee and you would be entitled to laying off said permanent employee.

As the employer, you may only agree with your employee on a lay-off for a fixed period and on the basis of the employer's activities and financial status.

The employee must be notified of the lay-off

You must always give notice of the lay-off to the employee who will be laid off. The notice of lay-off must be given in person. If this is not possible, you can submit the notification by letter or electronically. The notice of the lay-off must also be delivered to the representatives of the employees to be laid off.

You must give notice of the lay-off 14 days before the start of the lay-off at the latest. The notice period may also be longer, so check the possible collective agreement for your field.

The notice of lay-off must state

  • the grounds for lay-off,
  • the start date of the lay-off, and
  • The duration of the lay-off or an estimate of duration.

In case of fixed-term lay-offs, state the exact duration.

You must provide a written certificate of the lay-off if your employee requests it.

Training can be used to develop the expertise of laid-off personnel

As an employer, you can train your laid-off personnel using Targeted Training (TäsmäKoulutus) or Change Training (MuutosKoulutus). These joint procurement training programmes are organised and funded together with TE Services. The company must always agree on organising the training with the TE Office or the ELY Centre.

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