Concerns About Being Laid Off

How To Lay Off Employees With Dignity? 8 Step Laying Off Process

Concerns About Being Laid Off

Un dismissal and other forms of involuntary terminations, layoffs are conducted for reasons other than employee performance or conduct. Layoffs usually happen due to changes in the organization, economic recessions, and other related market volatile conditions.

Sometimes, organizations may wish to restructure in which case they need to choose some of the employees for layoff. If this process lacks the necessary etiquettes either on the part of the employee or the employer, the consequences are bitter as well as painful.

Your goal as an organization, therefore, is to make the separation as amicable as possible, allowing you to lay off employees with their dignity intact even as they walk out the door.

It’s quite simple – a mishandled termination of employment creates anger and resentment. That leads to lawyers, and as a manager, you want to avoid those waters wherever possible. That means you must keep the discussion away from the employee’s failings- this isn’t a coaching session, it’s a termination.

Here are some steps that will help you achieve what you want while letting the employee move on with his or her life.

Step 1Determine the extent of the problem and figure out the departments that will be affected

As a manager, you need to be able to identify your reasons for a layoff and be able to establish how the process will go down.

During a lay off you should evaluate how much the process will cost the organization and what alternatives can be taken to cut costs and save employees.

If there aren’t any, try to determine the departments that might be affected by the layoff and also prepare for it.

Step 2:  Freeze hiring

Hiring and laying off do not go hand in hand as one of the primary reasons for laying off employees is to cut costs. Therefore, when you prepare for a layoff, you should stop making new hires as this will only bring additional expenses that they organization may not be able to handle at the moment.

However, in the case where you are laying off non-performing employees, hiring can be considered to fill in front line positions that are left vacant. If this happens, you can consider the laid off employees-at least those that you think can perform well in the said positions.

Step 3:  Prepare tentative lists of employees to be laid off.

After carefully analysing the situation and determining the departments that might be affected by the layoff, the next step is actually to figure out which employees will be believing. This process is known as the performance evaluation where the manager evaluates the profane levels of all ear marked employees.

The evaluation will help you establish the best and least performing employees thus making it easier to choose those that are more valuable to the business at the moment and those to lay off. Sometimes, you can also begin by laying off employees with the least service in the organization-those hired recently.

Step 4:  Notify all employees of planned layoffs in advance.

Finding out about a possible lay off via rumours or outside information isn’t always the best thing that can happen to your employees. It tends to kill their morale, trust and the future of the organization as well. It is your responsibility as the manager to tell your employees in advance about a lay off before anyone else does.

The best way to deliver news about a lay off is a one on one meeting with your staff. Email notifications, memos, and other indirect communications are not the best way to communicate such a drastic measure.

A lay off is a sensitive issue at least it is for those affected, it should, therefore, be delivered with respect, compassion, and concern. You never know, perhaps you discussing the layoff and the reason behind it can bring up discussions and ideas that might help salvage the current situation.

Better cost saving approaches might arise during the discussion that may make you realize that after all, you don’t need to lay off employees.

Step 5: Prepare a final list of employees to be laid off

If a lay off is inevitable even after discussing the situation with staff, then it’s time you started preparing a final lay off list. You could choose to retain top performers and those in senior but critical management positions.

Preparing this list can be challenging that is why organizations are often advised to have a set termination process and policies that can be used to conduct such operations as layoffs efficiently. As you do this, be sure not to evaluate employees emotionally or be discriminatory in choosing who is going and who is staying.

Step 6: Notify affected employees

The fact that your employees already know that there is a possibility of a lay off makes them psychologically prepared for any outcome. This makes it easy for you to break the sad news to the affected employees.

You can choose to do this in private or in a group meeting with everyone involved in the termination process.

Step 7; do the deed, terminate

One thing that you shouldn’t do is to terminate employees in public and more so in a casual manner. You need to call all that are affected one by one and finalize the termination procedure behind closed doors.

Let the employees hand in any organizational property i.e. keys, files, badge, and uniforms. Take this opportunity to explain and give them their severance pay and also offer any post termination processes counselling etc. to help them cope with the situation.Lay off employees is a universally thankless task.

Step 8: Rally the remaining employees

The closure is necessary for the retained employees after a lay off. You need to call them into a meeting and explain to them that you had to do what you had to do. This gives the employees a chance to express their concerns publicly and hear directly from you what occurred. This not only minimizes concerns relating to employees’ job security but also diminishes the rumour mill.


Periods of layoff are never easy. How the organization manages the messages about the process will determine how employees and the public response to the organization in the future. If you lay off employees correctly, you and everyone concerned can each move forward with minimal disruption.

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Worried You Might Be Laid Off? Here’s What To Do

Concerns About Being Laid Off

One of the most shocking conversations you will ever have in your job is when your boss tells you that you’re done working for the company. Maybe it’s a layoff that completely blindsides you. Maybe it’s a performance-related issue that you were aware of.

No matter the cause, the actual event can be a total shocker. While getting fired and getting laid off may involve different things, it’s important to handle the situation professionally either way. And one way to do that is to prepare for it before it happens. So if you’re concerned at all about losing your job in the near future, this is well worth a read.

When managers are preparing for layoffs and termination, the process is well on its way by the time you get the message.

Because as challenging as it may be to stay focused and present in the conversation, that’s your goal. It might be difficult to think of it as such, but this is an important business discussion. Think negotiating your severance or termination package.

Here are seven tips on how to handle yourself, and what to say when you’re at a loss for words.

1. Stay Present And Manage Your Emotions

I once heard a colleague rant that she wanted to get laid off in the next round of workforce reductions. She was vocal about how she would welcome the chance to get away from her team, her boss, her job. In the next round, as luck would have it, she got laid off.

But she didn’t run around and high five everyone declaring her happiness. She freaked out. She yelled. She told everyone how unfair the system was. She loudly declared she was not going to help transition her work to someone else. There was a tacit understanding among the managers that, “Yep, we made a good decision on that one.”

You don’t want to be that person.

Even if you hate your job and are pining for a layoff notice, a job loss can knock the wind right you. The choice to leave is no longer yours; someone has made the decision for you, and that can be hard to swallow.

Instead of ranting my former colleague, take a long, slow exhale and ask for a minute to process the news. When you manage your emotions by pausing this, you help yourself stay calm, and you give yourself a chance to be present for the rest of the inevitable conversation. And by not allowing yourself to react immediately, you preserve your hard-earned reputation.

2. Keep Your Dignity

A former employee was on a last-chance performance agreement. Basically, if he screwed up one more time, he’d be fired, and he knew it. Well, it wasn’t long before he screwed up.

When I delivered the news of his termination, I could see the layers of shock, regret, and remorse on his face. He might’ve cried. He promised to change his behavior. He begged me to change the decision. (I didn’t.

) It was cringe-worthy, and I was embarrassed for him.

When managers are preparing for layoffs and termination, the process is well on its way by the time you get the message. The organization’s new head count has been calculated, the separation package prepared, and workspace charts changed. Begging for your job will almost never change the manager’s mind. So keep your dignity intact and focus on the rest of your conversation.

3. Get Your Stories Straight

Ask how the company plans to represent your separation from the company. When you seek your next gig, your employer and you want to be singing the same karaoke lyrics, if you know what I mean.

If you’re being let go because of team restructuring, it’s worth asking what other opportunities may be available to you.

You can help inform this. A simple request will do it: “I want to be sure that when you reference how I departed the company, it doesn’t hurt my chances for my next job.

Can we talk a bit about what you will say when others ask?” Ask for this in writing, so you have an official document that says you were laid off and not fired.

If you’ve been fired, your employer might agree not to mention the termination and instead simply verify the dates you were employed by the organization.

Many companies hire consultants to help employees find new gigs. Ask what kind of support, if any, the organization plans to provide. Determine how long that support will last, and what kind of career coaching you’re eligible for. And again, get it in writing if you can.

5. Ask If You’re Allowed To Apply For Other Positions Internally

Company policy may dictate this. Some places will let you do so right away. Others may impose a waiting period before rehiring or allowing you to freelance for the company in the future.

If you were fired for performance-related issues, you probably don’t want to ask, and your employer probably hopes you won’t.

But, if you’re being let go because of team restructuring, it’s worth asking what other opportunities may be available to you.

6. Take Care Of You

Get the details on severance, health insurance, when you can expect your final paycheck to arrive, how you will be compensated for unused vacation time, unused sick or personal time, when you’ll be reimbursed for travel expenses, and how you’re expected to get all of your things home. Some offices will offer to ship items to you so that you don’t have to deal with the incredibly awkward and uncomfortable packing up your area while your employees work beside you.

Ask if you’re going to be expected to help transition the work, what the expectations are, and how long that period will last.

If you have stock options, bonuses, sales commissions, tuition reimbursements, or other extras attached to your position, ask about those as well.

In a layoff, ask if you’re going to be expected to help transition the work, what the expectations are, and how long that period will last. And if you’re getting terminated, get clear on whether you’re expected to leave the building ASAP or if you can take a few hours to clean up your computer and head out at the end of the day.

Once you’ve got a handle on these details, you can step away for a day or two, and test the areas where you’d to negotiate. Perhaps you want more severance, a longer period in transition counseling, or a retention bonus for doing a super-great job transitioning your work. Be prepared to justify any requests and outline a specific proposal for what you’d to see.

You’re going to come up with more questions over time. Let your manager know you’ll review all the information that’s provided. Let her know you’ll revert with any questions or clarification you need.

Until all the details are hashed out, don’t sign anything. Most employers want you to sign a general release that says you’ll bring no legal action against them. Your final payouts are contingent upon you signing the documents. If there was ever a good time to have an attorney read over a document before you sign it, this is it!

Unexpected moments layoffs or terminations can feel a devastating personal attack. And there’s no doubt, they can be difficult to process.

When you’re able to step back and ask for what you need, however, you’ll find a small sense of empowerment that might surprise you. No matter how hard the news is, stay cool, be a pro, and start thinking about your next move.

And remember to take a couple of days before you hastily (and dramatically) post a major update on your social media channels.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission.

“,”author”:”Lea McLeod, The Muse”,”date_published”:”2016-08-23T05:00:00.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”//,f_auto,q_auto,fl_lossy/fc/3063072-poster-p-1-worried-you-might-be-laid-off-heres-what-to-do.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”//”,”domain”:””,”excerpt”:”Don’t panic–or sign anything.”,”word_count”:1284,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}

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What is the Difference Between Being Fired and Laid off?

Concerns About Being Laid Off

Article Details

  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 June 2019
  • Copyright Protected: 2003-2019 Conjecture Corporation

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In one sense, the only difference between being fired from a job or laid off is semantics.

Both descriptions mean a worker is no longer considered employed by the company, and he or she is no longer going to receive regular employee wages or benefits.

Some employers may see laid off as a nicer alternative to fired, but under certain employment laws, the terms are considered to be two separate conditions of termination.

Generally speaking, an employee can be fired or involuntary terminated for violating company policies or failing to perform up to established standards.

In certain US states that have an “at will employment” policy, an employer can fire an employee for little or no cause during a stated probationary period. An employee can also be fired for harassing co-workers, excessive absenteeism, or reporting to work in an intoxicated state.

An employee terminated because of his or her personal actions or performance can be considered “fired,” with little to no expectation of reinstatement at a later date.

An employee can be laid off for any number of reasons outside his or her control. The company may be experiencing an economic downturn or a cyclical slump in revenue.

An entire department may be let go if a product line is discontinued, or certain employees may be released until their skills are more in demand. The implication of the term is that the company may rehire the employee in the future if conditions change.

The company, however, may see the termination as permanent and should counsel the employee to seek other employment opportunities.

There is also a legal difference between “fired” and “laid off” where unemployment benefits are concerned.

An employee who is fired for personal misconduct or ethical violations often does not qualify for unemployment benefits following termination, but an employee fired for poor job performance or absenteeism may still qualify.

The same holds true for an employee who has been laid off, since the conditions surrounding his or her unemployment were not necessarily a result of personal misconduct.

The real distinction when it comes to unemployment status is between voluntary and involuntary termination. An employee can decide to voluntarily quit a position for any number of personal reasons, or even as a preemptive strike against an imminent firing or layoff.

Some employers may encourage unwanted employees to “voluntarily” quit rather than face the extra paperwork involved in an involuntary termination or firing.

Extreme measures to force an employee to quit, known as constructive termination, are considered illegal, but an employer can make the work environment so uncomfortable that an employee chooses to voluntarily quit.

Being laid off or fired or pink slipped or downsized still adds up to being unemployed, but it is often easier to use that first, nicer word on a resume or job application rather than the harsher “fired,” even though a former employer might see the circumstances a little differently. Under some circumstances, getting fired by an employer may be preferable financially to voluntary termination or layoff, but many potential employers would rather see evidence of a lay-off rather than a firing for personal misconduct or company policy violations.


anon321142 Post 9“I saw an email from the boss that he was getting rid of me because he found someone willing to work for less pay.”Isn't there a law that protects people from this?
anon314057 Post 8I've been laid off because of lack of work coming in, so can they advertise for staff three weeks after laying me off?
anon310295 Post 7I just got the boot four days before Christmas also. I was told the company needed to cut back and there was no work for me. Interestingly enough, I've been so busy I had to delegate responsibilities to other employees this week. Regardless, the company just hired a new salesman and I saw an email from the boss that he was getting rid of me because he found someone willing to work for less pay.After nine years with the company, it's a shame it ended this way. It is just deplorable the way employers treat their workers these days.
anon185818 Post 6Involuntary employment status. I left the job due to a work related disability and the company has given me this type of employment status as well as a very small percentage of my pension. The company stated they requested medical evaluation forms back in 2000, and when they did not receive the reports they put me on this work status, which is in my estimation, completely wrong and unjust. They have been investigating my pension throughout their archives and have been taken weeks to do so, still with no end result.The handbook I have states I left disabled on the job and never worked since the 90's. I am almost 65 now and they say i will get a little piece of vested pension monies, but the handbook says no, you will get a full blown pension until age 65, contrary to them saying i only get seven to nine years worth. What do you think of this?
anon146901 Post 5did you sign any forms when you exited?
anon111514 Post 4My boss told me today is the last day! Does that mean I got fired or laid off?
anon65517 Post 3I was unexpectedly told one morning that, 'I am going to have to let you go. This just is not your gig'! Then she said she would pay me through the week so I could leave immediately and start looking for a job. This was three days before Christmas!If that weren't enough I filed unemployment that day, started receiving it for a brief period of time and this past week they halted my benefits stating they understand I was fired! What? Now I have to wait for an interview call from unemployment place and they said if all goes well this could take up to seven weeks.I am devastated. How will I live? Is there anything I can do? How could an employer fib and get away with this? So inhumane!
anon31803 Post 2So that means you were fired?
kdeb Post 1I was told by my boss that I was laid off because there were no orders coming in. One of the boss' family members was also laid off at that time. Last week via e-mail we were chatting, and she e-mailed me back that “unfortunately we were *not* being called back”. When I got laid off, I asked if I would be called back, looking him straight in the eye. His reply was “I sure hope so”. I have been actively looking for employment, but this bothers me.

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Layoffs and Plant Closings: Know Your Rights

Concerns About Being Laid Off

If you've lost your job in a layoff, you are no doubt concerned about your finances, benefits, and finding new work.

There is help available to laid-off workers from the government, in the form of unemployment compensation. But your former employer has legal obligations as well.

This article explains your legal rights in a layoff, including what your former employer is required to do for you.

Final Paychecks After a Layoff

For most laid-off workers, money is the biggest concern. You are entitled to receive your final paycheck within time limits set by state law.

Some states give employees who have been laid off or fired a right to receive their paychecks quickly, sometimes on the day they lose their jobs or a day or two later. Other states allow employers to wait until the next regularly scheduled payday to cut a final check.

To check your state's law on final paychecks, see Nolo's article Chart: Final Paychecks for Departing Employees.

In a number of states, employers must include a departing employee's accrued vacation time (but not sick time) in the employee's final paycheck.

Some states, such as California, give all employees this legal right; other states only require employers to pay out unused vacation time if their policies or practices provide for it.

To find out how your state handles this issue, contact your state labor department. (You can find a list of links at, the official website of the federal Department of Labor.)

Severance Pay

Generally, employees who lose their jobs in a layoff have no automatic right to severance pay. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Mass layoff severance. In a few states, employers are required to provide a small amount of severance as part of a large layoff or plant closing. See “State Warn Laws,” below.
  • Employer policies or practices of paying out severance. If your employer has a policy of paying severance to all employees (or at least to all employees who are laid off or otherwise lose their jobs through no fault of their own), you might be legally entitled to a severance payment. Courts sometimes interpret a regular history of paying out severance as a contract—or promise by your employer—to pay severance to all laid off employees.
  • Your employment contract promises severance. Most employees work at will, meaning that they aren’t guaranteed employment for a particular period of time. However, employers do use employment contracts with certain employees, and these contracts might promise severance in the event the employee is laid off.

If you think you may have a legal right to severance that your former employer is not honoring, you should consider talking to an employment lawyer.

Health Benefits

If you have been receiving health insurance coverage through your employer, you might have a legal right to continue those benefits for at least 18 months.

A federal law called Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives employees (and their dependents) the right to continue their health insurance coverage for a period of time after losing their jobs. However, employees are responsible for paying the full cost of the premium, at the group rate negotiated by their former employer.

COBRA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, but some states have similar laws that might apply to smaller employers. (For more information see our article on your rights when you leave your job.)

Federal WARN Act

The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires larger employers to give employees notice 60 days before an impending plant closing or mass layoff that will result in job losses for a specified number or percentage of employees. If an employer fails to give the required notice, the employee can collect wages and benefits for every day that notice is late, up to 60 days.

WARN applies only to employees with 100 or more employees, and only if there is a plant closing or mass layoff. The law defines these terms as follows:

  • A plant closing is the permanent or temporary shutdown of a single employment site or one or more facilities or operating units with a single site, which results in job loss for 50 or more employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week) during a 30-day period.
  • A mass layoff is a reduction in force that results in job loss at a single employment site, during a 30-day period, for (1) 500 or more employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week), or (2) 50 to 499 employees (not including those who work fewer than 20 hours per week), if the laid-off employees make up at least one-third of the employer's active workforce.

The law also covers staged plant closings or layoffs, which are defined the same as above but occur in stages over a period of 90 days. This rule is intended to prevent employers from getting around the law's requirements by conducting a series of smaller layoffs.

There are some exceptions to the notice requirement. If, for example, an employer closes a temporary facility or the layoffs result from a strike or lockout, the employer doesn't have to provide notice.

And employers may give less than 60 days' notice in some circumstances, including when the layoff is the result of a natural disaster or business circumstances that weren't reasonably foreseeable 60 days in advance.

State Warn Laws

More than half of the states also have laws that require employers to give notice of a layoff. Some of these laws apply to smaller employers (or smaller layoffs) than the federal WARN Act. And some require employers to do more than provide notice.

For example, Connecticut employers that permanently shut down or relocate their facility state must pay to continue their former employees' health insurance for 120 days.

In Maine, employers that discontinue business operations or relocate at least 100 miles away must pay one week of severance for each year of employment to employees who have been with the company for at least three years. To learn about your state's rules, contact your state labor department.

Unemployment Benefits

In all states, employees who are laid off are eligible for unemployment benefits, as long as they meet other eligibility requirements. To learn more, see our state articles on collecting unemployment benefits.

Additional Information

For additional information on employee rights, get Your Rights in the Workplace, by Barbara Repa (Nolo), or visit Nolo's Lawyer Directory to view personal profiles of employment law attorneys in your geographic area.

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Business Vocabulary: Leaving a Job (Уход с работы)

Concerns About Being Laid Off

Каждый человек хотя бы раз в жизни менял работу. Это происходило по разным причинам, начиная от низкой зарплаты до неприятного цвета обоев в офисе.

Тема ухода и смены места работы поднимается на каждом собеседовании, поэтому вам необходимо владеть лексикой для подобного обсуждения.

Все возможные причины ухода с работы мы разбили на четыре типичные ситуации, в каждой из которых используется особая лексика, обозначающая различные пути ухода с места работы.

Ситуация 1

Вас не устраивают условия, вам мало платят, вы недовольны рабочим графиком или ваш начальник – монстр. Пора искать другую работу. Но для этого вам сперва придется уволиться со старой. Для этого в английском существуют глаголы resign и quit и различные выражения с ними:

  • resign [rɪ'zaɪn] – уходить в отставку, подавать в отставку, оставлять пост, уволиться
  • quit [kwɪt] – уволиться с работы
  • to resign one's office/ post/ position – отказаться от своей должности, уйти в отставку
  • to send/ hand/ give in one's resignation – подать прошение об отставке; подать заявление об уходе

Эти глаголы всегда используются в активном залоге, потому что решение принимаете вы сами:

I resigned./ I quitted. – Я уволился. Have you heard that the CEO resigned his position? – Слыхали, что генеральный директор ушел с поста? We were shocked when the Minister of Finance resigned his office. – Мы были шокированы, узнав, что министр финансов подал в отставку.

I am determined to find another job. I have already handed in my resignation. – Я полон решимости найти новую работу. Я уже подал заявление об уходе.

Ситуация 2

Вы достигли пенсионного возраста (retirement age) и пора вам уходить на заслуженный отдых, то есть на пенсию (retirement [rɪ'taɪəmənt]). Воспользуемся глаголом retire [rɪ'taɪə] – уходить в отставку, на пенсию, отправлять в отставку, на пенсию.

Данный глагол можно встретить и в активном, и в пассивном залоге, потому что случается, что работников отправляют на пенсию, хотя они еще могут работать.


He retired when he was 60. – Он ушел на пенсию, когда ему было 60.

He was retired when he was 60. – Его отправили на пенсию, когда ему было 60.

Рассмотрим фразы с глаголом retire:

  • to retire early – рано выходить на пенсию
  • to retire on medical grounds – уходить на пенсию по состоянию здоровья
  • to retire from business – отойти от дел
  • to retire as (headmaster) – уйти в отставку с поста (директора школы)

Ситуация 3

Ваша компания переживает трудные времена либо проводит реорганизацию, либо меняется собственник. В таких ситуациях обычно проводится сокращение штата – redundancy [rɪ'dʌndən(t)sɪ]:

  • be redundant [rɪ'dʌndənt] – быть уволенным по сокращению штатов, по причинам, не зависящим от работника
  • to make redundant – cокращать сотрудников
  • to be made redundant – попасть под сокращение

Можно использовать и в пассивном, и в активном залоге:

The new owner made half of staff redundant. – Новый владелец сократил половину персонала.

After the end of the project we will have to make 5 junior developers redundant. – После окончания проекта нам придется сократить пятерых младших разработчиков.

She was made redundant last year. – Ее сократили в прошлом году.

The factory was closed down so hundreds of people were made redundant. – Фабрику закрыли, поэтому сотни людей попали под сокращение.

Кроме того, в английском имеется фразовый глагол lay off, обозначающий «увольнять, сокращать». Как правило, lay off подразумевает «временное» увольнение, то есть после определенного периода работник может вернуться на работу.

Заботливые западные работодатели иногда обеспечивают сокращенным работникам помощь в поиске новой работы или переквалификации, привлекая агентства по трудоустройству. В английском это называется термином outplacement.

Ситуация 4

Вы грубо нарушаете трудовую дисциплину, не являетесь на работу, опаздываете на деловые встречи, сорвали подписание важного контракта. Начальство больше не может терпеть такого сотрудника. Вам светит не что иное, как увольнение.

Но только вышеупомянутые слова resign и quit в данной ситуации не понадобятся. Если вас выгоняют с работы, то для описания ситуации используются совершенно другие глаголы и выражения.

Каждый из них может использоваться и в активном, и в пассивном залоге.

Если важно, кто именно увольняет, то используем активный, но обычно мы этого не уточняем, поэтому эти глаголы довольно часто употребляются в пассивном залоге. Рассмотрим эти комбинации:

Увольнять с работыБыть уволенным с работы
to dismiss [dɪs'mɪs]to be dismissed
to terminate ['tɜːmɪneɪt]to be terminated
to discharge [dɪs'ʧɑːʤ]to be discharged
to fire ['faɪə]to be fired
to sack [sæk]to give a sackto be sackedto get the sackto be given a sack

They dismissed him for incompetence./ He was dismissed for incompetence. – Его уволили за некомпетентность. They terminated him for being rude to the customers./ He was terminated for being rude to the customers. – Его уволили за то, что он грубил покупателям. They discharged him because he played truant from work./ He was discharged for playing truant from work. – Его уволили, потому что он прогуливал работу. I will fire you if you are late again./ You will be fired if you are late again. – Вы будете уволены, если еще раз опоздаете.

They gave her a sack for laziness./ She was given a sack. – Ее уволили за лень.

Слова fire и sack непривычно видеть в значении “увольнять”. Мы с вами знаем, что первоначально fire – огонь, sack – мешок, поэтому данные выражения смело можно назвать идиомами. Наверняка, в фильмах вы не раз слышали фразу “You are fired!”, произнесенную с определенной интонацией и сопровождающуюся характерным жестом. Как же слова fire и sack приобрели свои новые значения?

Дело в том, что в старину в Англии все работники имели свои инструменты, которые хранили в специальном мешке (sack). При этом они часто путешествовали с места на место со своими инструментами, меняя места работы.

При устройстве на новую работу работники сдавали свои мешки на хранение работодателю.

Когда заканчивался срок службы, работа была выполнена, или работодатель увольнял работника, он возвращал мешки работникам (give the sack), и они отправлялись дальше в поисках работы.

Если же работник был уличен в краже, то работодатель на глазах других наемников сжигал его мешок вместе с инструментами, чтобы в дальнейшем вор не мог найти другую работу. Это служило уроком и профилактикой воровства. Такая форма наказания называлась firing the tools или being fired, соответственно: “He is fired” – “Он уволен”.

Оба выражения прижились в английском языке, их используют довольно часто, однако они имеют оттенок неформальности, поэтому употребляются в разговорной речи.

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Difference Between Laid-off and Fired (with Similarities and Comparison Chart)

Concerns About Being Laid Off

When an employee leaves the organisation, the situation is known as separation. The cause of separation can be voluntary or involuntary.

In the former, the employee decides to terminate his/her relationship with the employer, but when the employer initiates the separation, it is an involuntary separation.

Being laid-off and fired are two types of involuntary separation, wherein laid off is due to the inability of the employer to give employment to the employee.

On the other hand, the firing of an employee occurs when the employee is terminated due to his/her fault.

When an employee is laid-off, it is only for a short period, whereas when an employee is fired, he/she can never join the organization again. The article presented to you, explains the difference between laid-off and fired, in detail.

Content: Laid-off Vs Fired

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition
  3. Key Differences
  4. Similarities
  5. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonLaid-offFired
MeaningLay-off implies the provisional suspension of an employee or a group of employees from work by the employer, due to the company's inability to provide employment.

In business terms, fire means to reduce an employee from work, against his/her will, due to under-performance or serious infraction.
Caused byDownsizing, restructuring or economic downturn.

Employee's misconduct, poor performance or violation of policies.

CompensationGrantedNot granted
PositionNot refilledRefilled
New employmentEasy to findDifficult to find
Degree of severityLowHigh

Definition of Lay-off

The term layoff is used to refer a situation when an employee or a group of employees are temporarily separated, at the instance of the employer, for reasons such as slowdown or cyclical slump in revenue. It is an involuntary reduction in the workforce, due to failure, refusal or employer’s inability to provide employment to an employee, whose name exist on rolls.

The situation may be experienced because of machinery breakdown, economic recession, insufficiency of raw materials, accumulation of stock and so forth.

Lay-off occurs for a specified period, after the expiry of which the employee is recalled to join the job again. However, the term of lay-off can be extended to any length of time, and so the employer cannot anticipate, how long the situation may continue. During this time, the employee is paid compensation, which is equivalent to 50% of the basic salary.

Definition of Fire

To fire means to put an end to the employment, initiated by the employer against the will of the employee. Also known as dismissal or discharge, it is a drastic step, taken by the employer, after considering all the parameters, such as the performance, competence, skills, etc.

The decision to fire an employee must be supported by just and fair reasons which could be excessive absenteeism, theft of company’s property, serious misconduct, disobedience, harassing coworkers, poor performance, reporting to an office in an intoxicated state, incompetence, etc. Once the employee is fired, due to his own fault, it is tough to find a new job, especially when the cause for firing is serious infringement.

The points given below are noteworthy, so far as the difference between laid off and fired is concerned:

  1. The provisional suspension of an employee or a group of employees from work by the employer, due to the company’s inability to provide employment, is called lay-off. The reduction of an employee from work by the employer, against employee’s will, due to under-performance or serious infraction is known as fire.
  2. Lay-off is a temporary situation, i.e. the employee might be recalled by the employer for duty when the term of lay-off is over. On the contrary, when an employee is fired, there is no chance of getting the employment back, i.e. it is permanent.
  3. The reasons for lay-off include downsizing, restructuring or economic downturn. As against this, a person may be fired because of his own misconduct, incompetence or insubordination.
  4. When an employee is laid-off by the company, he/she is eligible to receive compensation. Conversely, when the employee is fired, he/she is not entitled to receive compensation from the employer.
  5. After termination, the position of a laid-off employee remains vacant, whereas the fired employee is immediately replaced with a new one.
  6. When the employee is laid-off, he/she can easily find a new job, as the reason for laid-off is beyond anybody’s control. However, when an employee is fired, it is hard to find a new job, because he was terminated from the job because of his performance or behaviour, which adversely affects his/her resume.
  7. The situation of being laid-off is less severe, as compared to being fired.


Both laid-off and fired, refers to employee’s cessation from work, i.e. he/she is no longer regarded employed by the company. The initiative of termination is taken by the employer. The employee is not going to receive wages or other benefits from the company anymore.


While laid-off entitles an employee for compensation and other unemployment benefits, this is not in the case of being fired, because, it occurs due to his own fault.

Both laid-off and fired are the worst thing that can happen to an employee, who is sole bread-earner in his/her family, as it is very difficult to find a new job immediately.

The most important differences between these two involuntary terminations are semantics.

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