The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or closed many businesses around the world, forcing many employers to layoff or furlough employees.
The templates below can be used to create customized layoff letters.
UK employers will want to read up on the government furlough scheme.
For Australian employers, there is a COVID-19 Stand Down Letter.
COVID-19 Layoff Letter Template Download:
Download this temporary layoff letter in MS Word format, change it to suit your needs, and use it right away.
COVID-19 Layoff Letter Sample Template: (Text Version)
[City, ST ZIP Code]
Dear [employee name]
I regret to inform you that due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, it has become necessary for the company to temporarily reduce its workforce. You will be laid off effective from [insert date]. We will communicate potential return dates as we learn more about this issue. You will receive certain layoff benefits which are listed below: - [List benefits]
Thank you for your continued contributions to the company. If you have any further questions about your rights and layoff benefits, please get in contact with [contact name and details].
[Your Name] [Title]
What is being done for small businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Governments worldwide are working on emergency relief packages to help companies continue to operate and get through these times. Here are some resources you'll want to review.
In the United States:
- Guide the the new Paycheck Protection Program.
- See our complete guide to U.S. employer resources.
- See our complete guide to U.S. worker resources.
- COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan.
- Can small business owners collect unemployment?
- Can independent contractors collect unemployment?
- SBA Express Bridge Loans (Expanded due to Coronavirus.
- Resources for small business owners affected by Coronavirus.
- List of U.S. companies hiring during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Coronavirus scams to watch out for.
- See our complete guide to Canadian employer resources.
- See our complete guide to Canadian worker resources.
- See our complete guide to Australian employer resources.
- See our complete guide to Australian worker resources.
In the UK:
Temporary Layoff Letter:
In some circumstances, employers may want to reduce their workforce temporarily. The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has forced many companies to shut down offices temporarily while employees are in self-quarantine. In such cases, laying off staff temporarily may be helpful in maintaining the financial stability of the company.
Layoff Warnings & Voluntary Layoffs:
Given the financial uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, some businesses may want to take a proactive approach and provide their employees with a layoff warning. A layoff warning is not an official notice to an employee that they have been laid off. Rather, the purpose of the warning is to help employees anticipate layoffs and provide them with a timeline.
Voluntary layoffs are initiated by employees. An employee may voluntarily remove themselves from their position in recognition of the company's financial difficulties. In most cases, companies will issue a letter stating that they will accept voluntary layoffs.
Typically, some sort of severance or other financial benefit is offered in order to encourage employees to volunteer. As the coronavirus has slowed down demand for many goods and services, some businesses are issuing voluntary layoff calls in the hopes that they can reduce their workforce.
Are your employees considered "essential?"
Some jobs/employees are considered essential by governments and are expected to continue working, even during times of crisis. You can learn more in our essential employees guide.
Are there government programs to prevent layoffs due to coronavirus?
Yes, there are several. Most importantly, the new Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to businesses that continue to pay employees.
Are employees laid off due to coronavirus eligible for unemployment?
It may depend on the circumstances and the state in each case, but most likely they are eligible.
Am I required to give notice to employees laid off due to COVID-19?
Most likely companies are not required to give notice, as this would be considered to be an unforeseeable event. You'll want to check laws in your state and pertaining to your business to be sure.