Rights to Guaranteed Pay (if laid off or put on short term working)

Site updated on February 17, 2020

Rights to Guaranteed Pay (if you are laid off or put on short term working)

Guaranteed payments were introduced in 1975 and the provisions remain although now part of the Employment Rights Act. The aim is to compensate you if your employer sends you home because there is no work to do, or not enough work available. You need to be ready and willing to work , so not off sick for example.

You need to have at least one month’s service as an employee in order to qualify for a guaranteed payment. These payments fall due when you would normally expect to work but no work is provided by your employer. These payments should be made by the employer for any whole day or days in which work is not available due to a number of reasons. If you do some work on a given day, a guaranteed payment is not payable. You must not refuse to do reasonable alternative work offered by your employer.

Payments should be made to you in the following circumstances:-

  • Where there is a reduction in the requirements of the employer’s business for work of the kind which the employee is employed to do e.g., a temporary loss of orders; or
  • The normal working of the employer’s business in relation to work of that kind is affected by any other occurrence – for example, you are laid off due to a fuel crisis.

If you are “laid off” as a result of these issues you should check your Contract of employment to see if there is any mention of lay off pay in these circumstances. If there is nothing in your Contract you should really be paid your normal wage – in other words your Employer needs the right in the contract to lay you off with less than full pay.

If there is a right in the contract to lay you off, the least you are entitled to receive is a Statutory payment per day for up to five working days in any rolling three month period. This amount is reviewed in line with movements in the retail price index, and increased each year, normally April.

You will not be paid if the lay off is due to a strike or some other action.

Can I claim that I am Redundant?

There are circumstances when you can consider claiming that your job is redundant. This occurs when your Employer is laying you off on a fairly regular basis.

If you are laid off, or put on “short time” working, for a period of 4 consecutive weeks you can ask your Employer about your redundancy pay options – if you wish. This also applies if you are laid off for 6 weeks, or more, in any 13 week period. Take advice before deciding your options.

Where a company has contractual lay off pay agreed with its workforce, they may be exempt from these requirements, because the union may have negotiated better terms. The details will be contained in a collective agreement. Talk to your union representative or if you need further help or Contact our Advice Line.

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