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Temporary layoffs

To reduce costs, some employers require workers to take time off without pay (sometimes referred to as a furlough). The intent is to avoid having to permanently layoff workers. Furloughs may be for one day or several days. For example, employers may require workers to take one day off per week, or they may lay off workers for a full week. This may occur once or it may occur on a regular schedule (intermittent).

Tips for workers being furloughed:
  • You may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits if you are temporarily or intermittently laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week.
  • Apply for UI benefits during the first week you are laid off or your hours are reduced below 32 hours per week. You cannot backdate the application. You could lose benefits if you wait to apply.
  • To receive a benefit payment or get credit for your nonpayable week, you must request a benefit payment.
  • Every applicant for UI benefits must serve a nonpayable week before they can receive any payments. Your nonpayable week is the first week you are eligible to receive a benefit payment. To be eligible, you must apply, request a benefit payment, and meet the requirements of unemployment insurance.
  • For intermittent (recurring) layoffs, it is probably best to continue to request benefit payments even when you are working your normal schedule. Report the hours you worked and the gross amount (before taxes or any other deductions) of your wages. Payments will be issued for the weeks you are laid off or hours are reduced and no payment will be made when you are working your normal schedule.
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