Downsizing is hard enough as it is, what more when it occurs during a global crisis? When the coronavirus made itself known in the early parts of 2020, it came with a plan: to spare no one. It shut a lot of businesses and caused a great plunge of employment statistics through numerous layoffs in various industries. Even without the threat of a virus, firing some of your best talents because of an uncontrollable station is never an easy task, even when you let a letter do it. Read below and find out more about how you can make a layoff letter.
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What Is a Layoff Letter?
A layoff letter is a form of a notice that companies use to fire employees for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance or behavior in the workplace. When a company decides to “lay off” or let go of their personnel, it’s usually due to financial hardships, reorganization, new system, and other external factors that are outside the employee and the company’s control.
When making this document, it’s important to note some of its essential components aside from the usual business letter formats. They are as follows:
1. Specific date of the last working day
2. Reason for the layoff
3. Availability of within and outside the agency or recommendation for another job opportunity
4. Discussion session with human resource personnel for further information regarding the topic
5. Severance pay, unemployment insurance, and other benefit offers
The recent events concerning COVID-19 or the worldwide pandemic caused an economic downturn of even the wealthiest countries around the world. In America alone, hundreds of companies have issued mass layoffs because the situation has rendered their operations useless, especially in the industry of entertainment, education, and transportation.
This is the grim truth amid the already growing concern surrounding a global scale health issue. As people are urged to steer away from crowds and the outside world in general, the cosmic drop in the employment rate isn’t only a consequence; it’s a necessary safety measure. When choosing what to fight between a virus that crippled the entire world and the pain of receiving your last paycheck, pick the latter.
It’s a bigger struggle for companies and their managers who not only have to put the business back in place and overcome tremendous losses but also to break out saddening news of cutting off their people’s employment, without an assurance of a definite schedule of their return to work.
How to Make a Layoff Letter
Being the bearer of bad news never puts you on anyone’s good side. But the universal fact that they’re inevitable demands someone to do it, even when it never gets easier every time. A layoff letter is among those you’ll wish you never have to send to someone. If you’re making this document, below are some guideline to help you get it done right:
1. Attack the Bush
You should know the beating around the bush doesn’t get anyone out of an unfortunate situation. This is why the first few sentences of your layoff letter should immediately state its purpose. It should directly say what the letter is all about in the first few sentences of your document. You might feel the need to dilly dally and gently settle the air with a few opening remarks, but it all boils down to the same thing. Directly state that due to unforeseen and unfavorable circumstances, the company is regrettably removing names and titles on their organizational chart, and the receiver is among them.
2. State the Reason
Carefully lay out the details on why you need to come up with the decision. You can explain that the business is facing some economic distress, and the funds are getting low. You might want to express that the sales reports have been showing negative results for the last few months and there isn’t enough to look after the entire workforce. You don’t need to blabber a lot of reasons or be defensive. Be factual and straightforward. Concisely state the status of your company and why it has to be that way.
3. Identify Whether It’s Permanent or Temporary
There are two types of a layoff situation: the permanent and the temporary. There’s no need to mention this detail if it’s permanent, but it hits differently when it’s only temporary. If it’s a temporary layoff, emphasize that in your letter. If possible, include how long they’ll be out of work by citing the exact start and end dates. If you can’t specify a timeline, give an estimate. It’s important that they know how long they’ll be out of work so they can devise a plan to make it all work.
4. Stick to Being Concise
Limit your word count. Handing over a lengthy letter wouldn’t be of any help to the laid-off employee. Your attempt to lighten the situation by spicing up a simple letter might be sweet, but it wouldn’t make any difference. And a long copy doesn’t necessarily show your sincerity. If you hope to be sincere, write professionally, be direct, and make it brief. Write all the details and information you need to get the message across and to prep the employee of what he should do, and what he’ll be receiving is enough.
Is layoff the same as being terminated?
An employee is terminated when he or she breaches the employment agreement, and the company decides to terminate the contract. On the other hand, a laid-off employee can be temporary or permanent and is usually caused by circumstances that are not within the employee’s control.
How do you differentiate a furlough from a layoff?
Unlike a layoff that has a permanent option, a furlough is strictly permanent. If you’re furloughed, you’re still on your position, but the company has to let you off for the time being to enact budget cuts and other fund saving measures.
Is writing a layoff letter necessary when firing someone?
No, it’s not necessary to give, but it’s a common courtesy to do so. However, there are a few states that require termination notices when firing an employee. This includes New Jersey, Arizona, and California.
A lost job is not a lost life. A closed window may darken the room for a bit, but it might lead you to open a brighter opportunity compared to the one you have before. A layoff letter on your email thread or your office table is not something anyone wants to receive (or even send), but it can be your ticket to something a lot better.