Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Lay Off

To terminate employees because the company is not making sufficient profits to pay them or to sustainably keep them on staff. While a lay off could affect one employee, the term usually refers to a group of employees that are let go because of budget cuts, restructuring, or other, similar situations. If and when the company returns to its previous profitability, it may hire back those employees who were laid off. Often, the company offers a severance or other final compensation to laid off employees.


the termination of an employee's employment with an organization due to reduced demand for the goods or services produced by the organization. Lay-offs may be temporary, in which case employees will be re-employed when demand increases again, or permanent.


References in periodicals archive ?
There is evidence that lay-off survivors have greater intentions of leaving the organization and many of them do, in fact, leave voluntarily.
If lay-offs are necessary, methods can be used to minimize the negative impact.
The lay-offs would be effective from the end of this month, but workers may consider voluntary retirement.
Lay-offs will be applied to all functions and to all 270 Larox employees in Finland and will last from two weeks to approximately three months, with an average duration of approximately four weeks.
The lay-offs follow a breakdown in the company's supply negotiations with the grocery retail and wholesale group NorgesGruppen ASA.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-30 September 2005-SEM AB cancels lay-offs after new Saab order(C)1994-2005 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-2 March 2004-LEGO Company plans lay-offs - report(C)1994-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
The latest temporary lay-offs at the Helsinki plant took place at the end of 2010.
Several media watchdogs condemned the phenomenon, saying the lay-offs were unjust and did not respect the rights of the employees.
It said its legal advice line saw a 155% increase in calls on redundancies and a 656% jump on lay-offs from January to June this year compared to 2008 as small businesses cut back costs and sought advice on employment issues.
The step follows other lay-offs in recent months aimed at reducing car production due to falling demand.
Northwest has also said that it would accept voluntary lay-offs to reduce the number of employees involuntarily laid off.