During the COVID-19 pandemic, people who had worked their jobs for decades faced unemployment for the first time in their careers. Some companies furloughed their employees, while others laid them off.
If you’ve never experienced unemployment, you may not know the main differences between furlough vs laid off. This article will clear everything up for you in an easy-to-read format.
1. How Long You’re Not Working
The most basic difference between laid off vs furlough is the amount of time you’re left without work. Furlough is a temporary situation: Your employer hasn’t cut ties and you’ll have the chance to resume your position.
How long furloughs last depends on the employer, the situation, and state laws regulating the practice. Employers should give you information about when you can return to work.
Being laid off from work, on the other hand, is permanent. In this case, employers don’t have enough money and/or enough work to keep you on the payroll. It’s different from firing because it’s not due to your performance.
2. Keep or Lose Benefits
The second-largest difference follows your employment station. If you’re furloughed and tied to your employer, you tend to keep your benefits. If you’re laid off, you have no relationship with your employer and lose work benefits.
The main benefit affected by being furloughed or laid off is health insurance. While furloughed workers keep employee insurance in most cases, workers who get laid off lose it.
Unemployed Americans can find insurance on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, but enrollment isn’t always open. Losing the convenience and value of insurance from your employer is a major blow to your healthcare budget.
3. How Your Job Search Goes
When it comes to navigating life after being furloughed or laid off, there are some major differences to keep in mind. Furlough promises job security, so many see it as the more favorable option. Yet, being in employment purgatory with a job on hold but no work or pay affects your work record.
Without a hard break in employment, you can’t often collect unemployment money. The US federal government allowed it during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s not typical. When you’re laid off, you have the option.
While furlough is a common practice, some employers look at work records with a very critical eye. They may look at your time without work as suspicious or irresponsible even though it’s out of your hands.
Furloughed workers can sometimes pick up work from temp agencies to help the issue. It bridges the gap between when you’re furloughed and when you’re reinstated. Temp agencies also help people make money after being laid off while they look for new careers.
Furlough vs Laid Off and Other Key Topics for a Better Work Life
Now that you know these key differences between furlough vs laid off, you’re prepared in the event that you’re furloughed or laid off from work.
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