An employer facing financial difficulties may attempt to lay you off or suspend work for a fixed or unspecified period.
What you are entitled to be paid depends on your contract of employment. You should be paid your normal pay unless your contract clearly allows your employer to pay you something less, or unless you or your union rep negotiates a temporary change to your pay, to respond to a short-term situation, for example to avoid redundancies.
If your contract of employment does not allow your employer to lay you off without pay, then your employer will be in breach of contract if they do this without your agreement.
Statutory guarantee pay is based on your normal pay, but there is an upper cap of £29 per day (from April 2019) and there is a maximum of five days’ pay in any three month period.
For part-time employees, the right is pro-rated (i.e. reduced in proportion to your part-time hours).
If you agree to any temporary lay-off arrangements that involve a cut in your pay, be sure to record clearly:
- that the arrangement is temporary, and exactly when the arrangement is going to end; and
- that any redundancy payment, if redundancies turn out to be unavoidable, will be based on your normal pay and hours, before the temporary cut.