Alternatives To Employee Layoffs


When consulting on potential workplace layoffs, the first thing I try to do is get an employer to quantify how valuable an employee is. For example, when the economy eventually rebounds, what will it cost that employer not to have that employee there?

It’s easy to make a rash decision to eliminate jobs, but the long-term consequences can be significant to a business.

Now, the California Employment Development Department has issued a “Guide For Worksharing Employers” – an alternative to employee layoffs. It’s an Unemployment Insurance program, which allows certain employers to reduce employee hours while the employees collect partial unemployment insurance benefits.

The program may help employers with cost-cutting as well as keep key employees. and avoid the mad hiring dash later.

An employer may be able reduce the employee workweek from five days to four – which results in a 20% reduction. The employees would be eligible to receive 20 percent of their weekly unemployment insurance benefits—and are spared the hardship of full unemployment.

There are qualifiers – but this is a good example of yet another alternative that should be considered when contemplating employee layoffs.



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