What’s the Difference Between Layoff and Furlough (furlough definition)

The start of the year brought rough news for some American workers. While many are able to work from home during this lockdown, others don’t have that luxury.

All of the change has lead to companies putting employees on furlough or laying them off completely.

Furlough

Furlough vs Laid Off


Questions Answered

  • What is a furlough?

  • What is the difference between layoff and furlough?

  • How long can a company furlough an employee?


Unfortunately, the impact of the pandemic has taken its toll on many industries, forcing them to temporarily and permanently close the doors.

So, what happens to employees in these industries?

Many still work, some get laid off, and others are sent home without pay (which is called a furlough).

What is a furlough?

The short answer, a furlough is a temporary unpaid leave of employees

Workers still technically retain their jobs at this time, but they stop working and don’t receive any form of payment. 

Businesses will often furlough employees when they don’t want to lay off staff (in hopes of turning things around shortly) but lack the resources to continue paying them. 

Ideally, workers will rejoin their employers as soon as possible, but it can be as long or brief as the employer needs. 

  • Furloughs for hourly employees

    • Hourly employees will typically see one of two types of furloughs. A general reduction in their work hours or a full out schedule cut.

  • Furloughs for Salaried Employees

    • Salaried employees will typically see a temporary pay reduction or full work cut. They are still employed but not working or receiving compensation.

What is the difference between layoff and furlough?

Generally, a furlough is meant to be a temporary arrangement while being laid off is a more permanent termination (including salary and benefits). 

Employees can return when furloughed but that’s not often the case when they are laid off. 

How long can a company furlough an employee?

There’s no set answer for how long a company can furlough an employee as it depends on where the company stands, amongst other outside factors. Most furloughs are a temporary fix, so anything less than one year is likely. 

Although these are unfortunate times and businesses are forced into making tough decisions know that it’s temporary.

We will get through this with brighter days right around the corner. Stay safe and good luck out there!

Related Articles: Employee Resignation Announcement | Best Outplacement Services


Title: What’s the difference between layoff and furlough (furlough vs laid off)

Category: Employer Resources

Tags: Furlough, difference between layoff and furlough, furlough definition, furlough vs laid off, furlough definition, difference between layoff and furlough


Author: Reid is a contributor to theJub. He's an employment and marketing enthusiast who studied business before taking on various recruiting, management, and marketing roles. More from the author.