Free Sample Layoff Policy
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Sample Layoff Policy

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Employer ABC may have to adjust staffing levels during slow economic times.  If retraining or reassignment is not possible, ABC will administer layoffs in an equitable, respectful and consistent manner.

Policy Rationale

Appropriate staffing is critical to ABC’s success. However, economic and organizations situations and resources may change; and as a result adjustments to staffing levels may be necessary.

Employment Services

Support systems that help the reemployment efforts of laid-off employees.  Services are available during the layoff periods.

Case Manager

The person who coordinates and assists laid-off employees.

Layoff Effective Date

The official date of separation from payroll due to layoff.

Full-time Position

A position of at least  hours per week. May be a permanent or temporary appointment.

Part-time Position

A position of less than  hours per week. May be a permanent or temporary appointment.

Indefinite Appointment

A permanent appointment without a specified ending date.

Regular Appointment

An appointment to a position of at least  hours per week with a duration of at least  months.

Casual Appointment

An employment status where the employee is guaranteed less than  hours per week.


An indefinite termination of employment or an indefinite change in hours of  or more, or a reduction below  hours per workweek.

Layoff Package

Employment services, benefits, and/or severance pay provided to qualifying employees.

Layoff Period

The period of time during which a laid-off employee is still employed by ABC.


External career services that may be provided to laid-off employees.

Temporary Appointment

An appointment to a position of at least  hours per week with a duration of less than  months.

Term Appointment

A regular appointment with a specified ending date determined at the time of the appointment.


This policy is intended to ensure that layoff procedures are consistent and to provide information to employees during the layoff period.


This policy applies to:

·         Regular full and part-time employees employed by ABC for more than one continuous year.

·         Regular full and part-time employees on term appointments or extended term appointments who:

o    Have completed at least one year of the appointment.

o    Cannot complete their term of employment due to layoff.

Layoff Decisions

Decisions regarding layoff are the responsibility of the supervisor/manager.  HR must be consulted before layoff decisions are made in order to ensure the decisions are equitable, consistent and respectful.

Involuntary Change in Hours

An increase or decrease of  or more of an employee’s hours falls under the provisions of this policy. In such cases, the employee may:

·         Continue in the position with the increase or decrease.

·         Elect layoff and receive a layoff package in accordance with this policy.

Note: A change in hours made at the request of an employee is not covered by this policy.

Position Elimination

The employee may be reassigned to another position or laid off.


If ABC has a vacant or new position and the employee slated for layoff is qualified for the position, the supervisor may appoint the employee to the new or vacant position.  The employee is not required to accept a position at a lower job level or salary. In these cases, the employee will be placed on layoff.  However, absent such circumstances, reassignment may be made in lieu of layoff at the discretion of the supervisor.

If a supervisor reassigns an employee, he or she must discuss the employee’s new salary with Human Resources. The assigned salary must reflect:

·         The employee's experience and qualifications.

·         The position’s requirements.

·         Internal equity.

Layoff Package

Laid-off employees will receive a severance package that includes career services, severance pay, and benefits.

Layoff Period

The layoff period is effective the date of layoff and ends  from the layoff date or when the employee attains a regular position, whichever is earlier.  During layoff, employees are eligible for certain benefits as per this policy.  Accepting of temporary or casual employment does not affect the layoff period.

Employee Responsibilities During Layoff

Employees have the following responsibilities during the layoff period:

·         To actively search for a new position that matches their skills and abilities.

·         To notify the case manager and Human Resources, if external employment is accepted.

Note: Failure to comply with the above requirement may result in the termination of the layoff period and all associated benefits.

Case Manager

A case manager is assigned to the laid off employee by Human Resources in conjunction with the supervisor.  The case manager can be a supervisor or a consultant from Human Resources and will work with the employee throughout his or her layoff period.  The case manager will arrange the initial introductory meeting to discuss the job search process and to provide information about benefits and services available.  The case manager will meet with the employee during the layoff period to assist with the job search.


Selecting Individuals For Layoff

If staff reductions will impact more than one employee in the same job, the supervisor must consider the ability of each employee to perform the work remaining after the staff reductions, including previous performance evaluations.

If the employees have equal abilities, (i.e., they are equally able to perform the remaining work), then the supervisor should consider the following criteria:

·         The supervisor and Human Resources will determine the impact the reductions will have on the proportion of women or minorities at ABC and whether affirmative action goals have been met for the affected position(s).

·         When affirmative action goals are involved, the supervisor must contact Organizational Development before making a decision.

·         If all other factors are equal,  should be considered.

Selection Process

Role of Human Resources

During a layoff, Human Resources has the following responsibilities:

·         Review and/or propose layoff plans to the supervisor for approval.

·         Prepare written layoff plan and retain documentation compliance purposes or grievance/lawsuit resolution.

·         Identify the case manager in conjunction with the employee’s supervisor.

·         Notify the case manager of the layoff.

·         Obtain a layoff package from Organizational Development.

Role of Supervisor

The supervisor has determines which position(s) will be affected by layoff.  Throughout the process, the supervisor must consult with Human Resources.  When making the decision, the supervisor must consider:

·         The department’s budget.

·         The department’s staffing needs.

·         How to properly distribute workloads.

·         The type and number of positions reduced or eliminated.

The supervisor must determine the specific knowledge, skills, abilities and performance requirements needed to support the department's operational requirements.

Layoff Documents

The decision-making process must be documented. This document must contain:

·         Reasons for layoff (i.e. reorganization, position redesign, redundancy, lack of funds).

·         The title and pay band of the impacted employees.

·         The name(s) and  of all employees in the department in position(s) with the same job title(s) as the position(s) to be eliminated.

·         The name(s) of employees slated for layoff and the rationale.

·         Any reassignments plans within the department.

·         Name of the case manager.

Notice Period

An employee must receive notice of at least  calendar days prior to date of layoff.  During the notice period, the employee remains active and will work until the effective layoff date.

The supervisor and/or Human Resources must follow these steps when processing layoff(s):

·         Give the employee a formal written notice of the layoff at least  calendar days prior to date of layoff and a copy of the layoff package.  The notice must include layoff rationale, the effective date, and the name of the case manager.

·         Send a copy of the notice to the supervisor/Human Resources and the case manager.

·         Give the employee time off to develop job skills and conduct job searches during the notice period.

·         Provide the employee with a reference letter.

·         Help the case manager identify the employee’s strengths and job placement needs.

·         In conjunction with the employee, determine when all ABC property will be returned.

·         Complete the process to change the staff member's employment status (change in hours, reassignment, or layoff).

Pay In Lieu of Notice

In certain circumstances, the supervisor can decide that the employee will not remain on the department's active payroll during the required notice period (in consultation with HR). The department will still pay the employee an amount equal to his or her regular salary or wage through for what would have been the notice period. This pay in lieu of notice does not impact any severance pay the employee receives.

Grievance Rights

If an employee disagrees with a layoff decision, the Grievance Procedure is available to the employee.  Grievances must be filed within  working days from the date the staff member receives written notification of the impending layoff.

The grievance procedure cannot be used to challenge a supervisor’s determination of the need for layoff, the number of employees laid off, reassignments, or the positions eliminated.

Layoff Package

At date of layoff, the employee will receive a layoff package.

Career Services

Laid off employees will receive help searching for another position.  These services may be provided by Human Resources or by an external outplacement agency, as determined by Human Resources and the case manager.  The department’s ability to pay for outplacement services will be considered when determining the feasibility of these services.

Role of Laid-off Employees:

·         Identify internal and external employment opportunities by reviewing available ABC positions and other resources and apply to positions for which the employee is qualified.

·         Obtain reference letter from the supervisor.

·         The employee does not have to accept an offer for a position in a lower job level or salary.

·         Review benefits available and not available during layoff.

Role of the Supervisor

When a laid-off staff member applies for an open position, the hiring supervisor will:

·         Offer all laid-off candidates who meet the position requirement the opportunity to interview.

·         Determine whether the "Probationary Period as a Condition of Hiring" section of this policy is appropriate.

Role of the Case Manager

The case manager helps the employee obtain information about benefits and available services and identify career goals and job search strategies.  Case manage assistance continues until the employee obtains regular full-time or part-time employment or the layoff period ends, whichever comes first.

The case manager can help the employee:

·         Work through the application process.

·         Locate open ABC positions.

·         Arrange for skills and career assessment.

·         Find training opportunities.

·         Review his/her cover letter and/or resume and Improve job interview skills.

Probationary Period as a Condition of Hiring

During layoff, a supervisor may offer a laid-off individual a position and require that the probationary period be served.  The probationary period length and conditions will be stated in the offer letter as a condition of the appointment, and deemed agreed to if the employee accepts the offer.

If the employee does not pass probation, he/she will return to layoff to complete any remaining time in the layoff period.


If the employee’s former position is reinstated within the same department during the employee's layoff period, the employee will be offered the position with at least the same pre-layoff benefits and salary.

If more than one employee is laid off in the same job, recall decisions will be based on the same criteria used in the initial layoff decision.

Severance Pay

Employees who accept a regular position at ABC or elsewhere that will begin within  weeks of their layoff date are not eligible for severance pay.

Laid off employees will receive severance pay at the rate of one  of pay for each year of credited service, up to a maximum of enter maximum number of months or weeks here. Severance pay is calculated using the employee’s hourly rate at the date of written notification, and is issued in a lump sum payment.

Severance pay is a cost borne by the department.

If an employee was previously laid off and received severance pay for prior service, he or she will not receive severance pay for the same period of service if rehired and subsequently laid off.

Term Appointments Severance Pay

Laid off employees on term appointments will receive severance pay equal to the lesser of their pay for the remainder of their term or their years of service.

Benefits and Services

Laid off employees are entitled to a continuation of certain benefits.  Failure to prepay premiums for any benefit will result in the termination of that benefit.

Other Services

Computer Access

During the layoff period, access ABC's computer services remains.  If the employee attains employment outside ABC, or when the layoff period expires, access to ABC's computer services is terminated.

Sick Leave

If the employee attains a regular position during layoff, sick leave accrued before layoff is restored.

Identification Card

The ID card is retained throughout the layoff period.


Unused, accrued vacation will be paid in a lump sum.



Notify employees how layoff impacts their benefits and what can be done to maintain certain benefits and ensure the appropriate forms are provided to employees.

Case Manager

Work with the supervisor to identify a laid-off employees strengths and skills.  When an employee is on layoff status, the case manager helps the employee obtain information about benefits and services and identify career goals and job search strategies.

Former Supervisor

Provide timely notification of layoff to impacted employees.  Provide an accurate reference letter for laid-off employees.

Hiring Supervisor

Interviews all laid-off qualified laid off employee.  Give preference to qualified laid-off employees who apply for positions within their department.

Human Resources

Review and/or propose layoff plans to the supervisor for approval.  Prepare written layoff plan and retain documentation compliance purposes or grievance/lawsuit resolution.  Identify the case manager in conjunction with the employee’s supervisor.  Notify the case manager of the layoff.  Obtain a layoff package from Organizational Development.


Conduct appropriate job searches and provide accurate and timely information to the case manager.

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