An Employer’s Guide to Furloughs

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is leading many companies to explore ways to remain operational without laying off their employees. As such, some businesses are using furloughs to temporarily suspend their employees until the pandemic passes.  

If your company wants to stay operational throughout the coronavirus pandemic, you may want to consider furloughing your employees. To better understand how a furlough works, let’s examine five questions about furloughs. 

1. What Is a Furlough? 

A furlough involves a suspension of employment without pay. The length of a furlough varies, and a company can choose to implement or lift a furlough at any time.  

With a furlough, a company temporarily reduces its staff due to a lack of resources. At the same time, a furlough helps ensure that a business’s employees can return to their jobs at a later date.  

2. Are Employees Required to Work During a Furlough? 

Furloughed employees cannot do any work on behalf of their employer until the furlough is lifted. If a salaried employee works during a furlough, their employer must pay him or her the equivalent of their salary for the entire day. Or, if an hourly employee works during a furlough, their employer must cover his or her hourly wages for any work time.  

3. Does a Furlough Require All Staff to Stop Working? 

A company can furlough all or some of its staff. For instance, a business may keep essential staff on hand and furlough non-essential workers. When the business can resume its normal operations, it will end the furlough for non-essential personnel.  

4. How Is a Furlough Different from a Layoff?  

A furlough sets the expectation that a company intends to bring its workers back after a temporary suspension of employment. During a furlough, employees usually retain access to life and health insurance benefits as well.  

Comparatively, a layoff involves a temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment. A layoff is generally unrelated to an employee’s performance, and it may allow a worker to receive unemployment benefits. Some laid-off employees may also qualify for severance pay and other benefits.  

5. Should My Company Furlough Its Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing companies of all sizes and across all industries to consider creative solutions to stay afloat. Thus, to remain operational during this challenging period, it may be beneficial to furlough employees.  

A furlough provides your company with the flexibility to retain talented professionals throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, a furlough shows employees that your company wants to keep them aboard and is doing everything possible to return to its normal operations as quickly as possible.  

If you are considering furloughing your employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, weigh the pros and cons of furlough before you make your final decision. In doing so, you can determine if a furlough is the right choice for your company.   

Add Skilled Professionals with Help from Ascend Staffing 

Once a furlough ends, a business needs to be ready to add top talent right away — and Ascend Staffing is happy to help. Contact us today to learn why employers choose us to help them hire skilled professionals.  

An Employer's Guide to Furloughs 1

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