Employee Layoffs Best Practices in 2020 – Part Four

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Share Layoff Announcement with Compassion and Understanding

In certain instances, it is not possible, but employers initiating mass employee layoffs should not do them prior to sensitive or traditionally family oriented times, like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Layoffs should be administered with kindness and heartfelt compassion. Communicating to a staff member they do not have a job is difficult for all concerned. Keep in mind employees may feel extremely hurt and totally burned when a company administers a layoff brusquely.

When you are communicating the reason for a mass layoff to an employee, be certain to give the business facts that led to the layoff. Be sure to hone in directly, several times if needed, that the layoffs are due to business facts and not

There is no way to know what an employee will do when give the negative news about losing a job, so get ready to have an open ear. Allow the employee to vent as much as is needed about their job loss unless they start bringing up retaliation for losing their job. Do not respond back. Let them vent. Stay cool and be compassionate. Kindness will payoff in the long run.

Do Layoffs on Tues., Wed., or Thurs.

If possible, lay off employees during the middle of the week, not on Monday or Friday. Tuesday is the best day to layoff employees according to experts in Human Resources.

Over the years it has been reported that employees that find out they have been laid off do not allow any more information or facts inside their thoughts. After a person is told they are laid off and they start hearing about health insurance, COBRA and severance pay, the only thing going through their mind is, “what am I supposed to do now?”

At the time of the layoff to employers it may be logical to review all aspects of being separated from the company, in many instances it is not the action to take. It is often better to complete the exit interview straight away, give the laid off staff member their employees information envelope or folder including COBRA and severance and communicate to them the information that’s included and that they should review everything in it after they leave. Company’s can of course cover all the information regarding the separation right then as well. However, since the all the information is included in the packet about their employment, they can look at it after they leave the business.

By laying off staff on Tuesdays, the company is normally open from then through Friday. After a couple of days the staff members that are laid off can reach out to the Human Resources department and ask any questions after they have settled down, they have had a chance to think about things and decide what their next best moves are after losing their job.

Provide a Severance Package if Possible

Employees that receive a severance package can handle the negative impact of being laid off much more easily. Severance packages most of the time include monies, but sometimes they offer items that do not involve money. During tougher financial times your company may not be able to provide a severance package with money, but instead the package can include other things like job search assistance.

Maintain Cobra Coverage

Another option to consider for departing employees is to provide extended COBRA payments so the employee and possibly their family can keep health insurance for an extended fixed time-period. Another option would be to offer extended disability or life insurance coverage for a fixed time-period.

When possible, offer to help cover COBRA payments for a fixed time-period so staff (and their families) can remain on the company health insurance plan. Offer to pay for continuing disability or life insurance when possible.

Staff Layoffs are Hard

One of the tougher components of operating a business is that there are good times and bad times. When times are bad unfortunately, employees sometimes must be laid off and it is one of the hardest tasks to execute when running business.

Your company staff is important and must be considered when layoffs must happen. Caring, understanding and acts of kindness can help reduce the financial strain and pain of losing a job.

Employee Layoffs Best Practices in 2020 – Part Two

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Employee Layoffs Best Practices in 2020 by The Payroll Company 505-944-0105 a

WARN Act Company Compliance

The WARN Act is the Worker Adjustment and Restraining Notification Act. This law as enacted to prevent mass layoffs from occurring without prior notice. As an employer, you have to provide layoff notices 60-days prior to the actual layoff date. Advance notice under the WARN Act applies to companies when the following is the case:

  • The company has 100 or more full-time employees; or
  • The company employees a minimum of 100 employees working a total of 4,000 hours or more; and
  • Are executing a layoff of a minimum of 50 staff or more at one business location
  • They have more than 100 full-time employees; or
  • Employ at least 100 workers that work a total of 4000 hours per week, and
  • Are laying off at least 50 people at one work location.

Rules in the WARN Act have exceptions. When a business experiences a natural disaster or business situations it could not known about ahead of time, the business is not required by law to give its employees a notice of 60-days. If possible, it is wise to give notice regardless of the situation of disaster. Doing so provides your staff the opportunity to get ready for an unexpected job loss.

During Mass Layoffs Your Company May Need Additional Assistance

All layoffs are different. Many times, when a layoff is required, your company might be required to layoff key staff that have critical company knowledge. You do not want to have that critical knowledge vaporize. But, there may be nothing you can do to keep that person from being part of a mass company lay-off.

Give a hard look at what will occur to your business when veteran long-term key employee leaves with their critical company knowledge. The smart thing to do is to act on this problem and as part of your layoff strategic plan, ask the people being laid off to hand off their critical company knowledge to you or the staff members that are still going to be with the company.

To be sure, be ready to learn the staff members you are laying off are not going to be receptive to your request for them to train you or share critical company knowledge and operational facts. Your strategic layoff plan needs to include providing a financial reward to remain and train you or the employees that are staying off after the layoff. Using this strategy successfully could have a huge positive impact on the success of your company in future if you are able to keep the critical company knowledge the employee whom is being laid off knows.

Reflect What Effect the Layoff Will Have on the Staff that Stays

If your company layoffs practically everyone or just lays off 5 people, be sure to take the staff that is not being laid off into careful consideration. Chances are the remaining staff will be thankful they kept their job. They also may have worries and real issues that may have a direct negative effect on their actual work

The staff that is still with the company after the layoff logically will be concerned about the need to do the work they did before and the work of the staff members that are now gone. Additionally, they may be worried about more layoffs to come. Realistically they may be worried about being laid off in a second wave, giving them the motivation to start looking for a new job.

Remaining staff may be fine with taking up the workload of the laid off staff and are unconcerned about the company down the road after a big layoff. But, when more staff may quit their new expanded job due their concerns, the same staff that was okay about workload and the company’s future success, might become concerned and look for a new job, creating a ongoing treadmill of people quitting and a rehiring cycle.

Chances are your company will not have the operating capital to pay out ongoing bonuses to the staff member that did not get laid off, communicating directly and factually regarding the business’ chances down the road and how the reduction in staffing is a strategic component of the planned future of the company will provide the needed reassurances the existing team employees needs to stay committed and driven to do their best at their job.

Employee Layoffs Best Practices in 2020 – Part One

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Employee Layoffs Best Practices in 2020 by The Payroll Company 505-944-0105

The COVID-19 Pandemic is affecting the American economy and employers incredibly negatively. Close to 30 million Americans have now been laid off from their jobs since Mar. 26, 2020. The fact of the matter is for those employees and employers still working now, the numbers of people who are laid off is going to increase as businesses struggle to stay open with reduced revenue and continued overhead. One the primary way businesses reduce overhead is by laying off employees. Employee layoffs at American businesses will most likely continue in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Laying Off Employee Best Strategies During These Tough Times

Its very apparent that the nations economy and its accompanying employment picture will get worse before it improves. This impending fact means you may be required to face the music and layoff employees at your business. No matter when it happens or why it has to happen, employee layoffs are tough for both employees and employers. This is particularly true when the cause of the layoffs is totally removed from your ability to do anything about.

Regardless of the reason why or when an employer is required to layoff its employees, it is highly critical to complete the process the best way possible, very professionally, as well as complying with layoff legal required by law.  

Consider Other Layoff Option Strategies

The expedient way to reduce business costs is to layoff employees. Employee layoffs by far have the highest pain point for the business owner and the employee. Prior to moving forward with layoffs, review other layoff actions instead. Can your business do any of the following instead of laying off its staff:

  • Reduce hours of employees?
  • Cut out overtime entirely or reduce it?
  • Put a freeze on all employee bonuses and/or raises
  • Instead of laying off staff do a company-wide furlough alternatively?

A staff layoff will reduce your expenses far better, but by selecting one of the listed options, it may turn out far better for your business in the long run. Your business will reduce business costs significantly and retain company staff. The net benefit for your business will be more loyal indebted staff due to the fact your were able to keep their employment going, which in turn will build stronger affinity to your business and its overall brand name.

Create Well Thought-Out Layoff Strategic Plan

It may be that you figure out the only steps you can take is execute an employee layoff. Be sure to set aside time and develop a complete layoff strategy. Take into account both the legal requirements that must be met when executing your company’s employee layoff and the best way to inform them about the layoff itself.

Inspect Your Company’s Staff for Specific Groups of Legally Protected Employees Prior to Execution of the Layoff

It is simple to see your company as neutral when you are selecting the staff member that are going to be laid off, be certain your layoff choices do not end up firing employees in larger amounts of employees in legally protected classes. Protected employee classes are as follows:

  • Minority ethnic groups
  • Employees with disabilities
  • Employees 40 years or older

For instance, if it appears proportionately that less male employees are being laid off that female employees, your company needs to take action beforehand that the layoffs do not turn out that way. Check your list of employee layoffs with its layoff percentages to be certain your company is inline before it communicates the layoffs to all the company employees.

When you are executing your company-wide layoff if your layoff percentage of women are the same as the percentage of women employed by your business then your probably fine. For example, if your company staff is made up of 34% women and your layoff percentage for women is within 2 to 3% either way of 34%, you can prove your business is not laying a greater percentage of women.

However, mathematically if your company is laying off more women than men from a total percentage standpoint, you may have a legal issue. If that is the case, you may be in exposing yourself to an equal employment opportunity discrimination lawsuit. The smart action to take to prevent a lawsuit like that from happening is to meet with a lawyer that specializes in employment law and review your layoff plan before you execute it and layoff people and get sued.

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