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Coronavirus Layoffs and Furloughs: Letters, Templates and Forms

Access Furlough & Layoff Letter Templates

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Everyone is Feeling the Pain of COVID-19

After a summer of recovery, America is experiencing a winter surge. Businesses are once again facing a season of uncertainty, with the threat of reduced demand or local lockdowns. In order to survive, more tough decisions may have to be made.

Understand What a Layoff Means

A layoff is a termination of an employee’s contract with your company due to issues unrelated to their performance. In normal times, layoffs occur as a natural response to downsizing, cash flow and cost containment strategies. Layoffs can be temporary or permanent, though employers are not obligated to guarantee that their initial optimistic offer of a temporary layoff won’t become permanent given factors beyond their control. For the most part, workers who are laid off can file for unemployment insurance benefits.

What to Tell Employees Who are Being Laid Off

We are experiencing a once-in-a-century public health crisis that infectious disease experts are comparing to the 1918 influenza pandemic. If ever there was a situation beyond an employer’s control, this is it. Now is a time for honesty, not talking points. HR leaders should communicate their company’s rationale and strategy moving forward during this perilously uncertain time. Explain why the layoff is necessary, be open about the specific financial challenges your company is navigating, and if there is hope that the employee may be re-hired in the coming months, lay out that best case scenario based on the information you have available now.

This Is a Time for Empathy, and People May Surprise You

Paycor believes this is a time to lead with empathy and transparency, not emotional distance. In times of crisis, be they the natural disasters of recent memory or the financial collapse of 2008, we have seen firsthand our employees step up, make sacrifices, and do all they can for the health and wellbeing of their colleagues and the company.

Know That Help Is on the Way

In spring, both houses of congress worked together to advance an unprecedented series of relief packages for workers and the economy. The Paycheck Protection Program kept the doors of many small businesses open. Now, a new stimulus package is in the works—it could come just in time for business leaders across the country.


Additional Resources:

Paycor’s COVID-19 Command Center is the new analytics solution that delivers insights for crisis management.

Paycor Can Help Your Business Today and Tomorrow

See how our technology and expertise can help guide your business through this crisis and prepare to get back to growth in the future.

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Fill Out the Form to Get Access to Three Templates:

COVID-19 Furlough Letter Template

This is an example of a furlough letter that specifies COVID-19 as the root cause of the furlough. It covers topics including: seniority, health insurance, and unemployment benefits.

Employee Layoff Letter – Template

This is an example of communication to deliver to employees you need to layoff. The form provides the same information as temporary layoff letter and includes language to describe a severance package, if applicable.

Letter of Temporary Layoff – Template

This is an example of communication to deliver to employees you need to temporarily layoff. The form provides rationale for the business decision, an explanation of benefits the employee can expect, and advice on what next actions they can take.