Short Time Work, Lay-Off and Redundancy Information

This page contains information and advice for anyone who may find  themselves on temporary Short Time-Work, Lay off or made redundant.

What is short-time work?

A short-time work situation occurs when there is a reduction in the amount of work available and applies where the reduction to your pay or hours is less than half the normal weekly amount of your normal pay/hours. Short time is a change to your terms and conditions of employment and must be agreed with you. This must be a temporary situation and your employer must notify you before the reduction in hours/pay starts.

There is an expectation that full-time working will resume within a reasonable period. 

  • Find more information on Supports for people who have been put on systematic short-time here.

What is lay off?

A lay off situation arises where your employer is temporarily unable to provide work for you and you will not be paid.

Your employer can lay you off or reduce your working hours (put you on short-time work) for a number of weeks. This can happen if there is a lack of work available or changes to the financial circumstances of the business. Lay off is a change to your terms and conditions of employment and must be agreed with you unless it is a term of the contract or if it is custom and practice in the industry. This must be a temporary situation and your employer must notify and engage with you before and during the lay off process.

If a lay-off goes on for certain period of time, you may be entitled to claim for redundancy.

 Please find information for Cross border workers here

  • Redundancy (Short-Time Work and Lay off)

     If a lay-off or a short-time situation exists and has continued for 4 weeks or more, or for 6 weeks in the last 13 weeks, you may give your employer a notice in writing of your intention to claim redundancy under the Redundancy Payments Acts. 

    This is considered voluntary redundancy and you are not entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice. It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all its eligible employees. 

    There is no limit on the number of times an employer may put an employee on short-time or lay-off, if the employer can guarantee at least 13 weeks employment. However, if it becomes apparent that the short-time or lay-off is no longer temporary then the situation could be considered a redundancy.

What is a redundancy?

Redundancy is what happens when you lose your job because your employer is either closing the business or reducing the number of staff. A redundancy occurs where your job in the company no longer exists, you are let go and are not replaced. It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy in the first instance to all its eligible employees. For more information click here  

Further information about redundancy

  • Information in relation to other redundancy provisions, including details about Maternity Leave, Apprenticeships and change of ownership here
  • Information for employment permit holders who are made redundant here
    • Please view our DSP Intreo Redundancy Presentation  video here and for further information on employee entitlements click here
    • Redundancy Calculator here

Related websites

  • Workplace Relations Commission
  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
  • Welfare Partners
  • (Redundancy Calculator)
  • Revenue

Please See List of all Other Resources Available

◊ Information on how to apply for a Public Service Card (PSC) please click here

◊ How to apply for a jobseekers payment please click here 

◊ Information on PRSI refunds here

◊ Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) click here

◊ Information for individuals on mortgage arrears support here 

◊ Rent Supplement here


Information for Cross Border Worker/Frontier Worker:

With regards to claiming job seeker benefits there are special rules for frontier workers. A frontier worker, or cross border workers is a person who lives in one country and works in another, returning to the country they live in at least once a week. Frontier workers who are wholly/fully unemployed, e.g. made completely redundant, receive benefits in the state in which they live.

Where a jobseeker lives in the north & works in the south: you would claim New Style Jobseekers Allowance  and/or Universal Credit  in Northern Ireland (assuming you meet the normal eligibility criteria for these benefits). For those living in the south and working in the north, claims for Jobseekers Benefit or Jobseekers Allowance should be made in the south, subject to the normal eligibility criteria – see Out of Work Payments in Ireland

There are different arrangements for frontier workers who are partially or intermittently out of work (e.g. reduced working hours).  In this instance, the worker should claim their unemployment benefits in the state where they are last employed.

See also:


Hide Share Button: No

Show Center Title: Yes