So, your organization has decided to have a voluntary layoff. Great choice! Several companies are having wildly successful voluntary reduction events.
But this means that you need a voluntary layoff request form for employees to sign that indicates that they have decided to take a voluntary layoff package.
It is important to have this form so that your organization has legal record of any employees who have decided to take the voluntary layoff package. This ensures that you are compliant with any laws and are mitigating any legal liabilities.
Since your employees themselves determine if they will be exiting your organization, this form is a guarantee that the employee has thoroughly read all documents relating to the voluntary layoff, and from their own cognizant have come to the decision to exit your organization.
Usually this form is sent out along with the announcement of a voluntary layoff. Employees can then fill it out and submit it to a designated person to indicate that they would like to participate in said voluntary layoff event.
Now, before we get started with what to include in a voluntary layoff request form, make sure to download our sample form with the the button below:
Now, let’s get started…
Voluntary Layoff Request Form: What To Include
The first thing to consider in your voluntary layoff request form is the alignment of your form with your layoff model.
If you are looking to permanently layoff your employees (also known as voluntary separation agreement or voluntary reduction in force), your form should represent that. If you are looking for employees to volunteer to work less than full time, or take unpaid time off, your form should be aligned with that.
Make sure that your executives have fully decided on your voluntary layoff objectives and models to ensure that this form will fulfill its purpose, before you start creating it.
After you have figured out how you want to structure your voluntary layoff, you’ll want to create the form. It is important to include basic fields such as:
- Employee Name
- Employee Number
- Position Title
- Direct Manager
Next, you will want a statement on the form that indicates that the employee is requesting and consenting to participate in the voluntary layoff.
If your organization is only offering a voluntary layoff that permanently terminates employees from the organization, your form would need to state this, with a field underneath said paragraph where your employee can sign to show their consent.
If your organization is offering a voluntary layoff that gives employees multiple options, this section of your form will need to be a bit more detailed. For example, if you are giving the option to drop to lower than 100% full time, have check boxes for your employees to indicate what level they are volunteering to drop down to in this section.
And if you have options for your employees to take a certain about of unpaid time off, provide boxes to be checked for this as well. For example, your form could have the option to take 1 month off unpaid, 3 months off unpaid, or 6 months off unpaid.
If you have these options available for your employees, make sure to indicate on the form what the limits are. Something as simple as: “Work status will not be reduced by more than 45% of full time and unpaid time off cannot be greater than 9 months”, is sufficient.
Finally, you will want to include information on this form about how their employees benefits will be impacted if they accept the voluntary layoff package.
If your organization is only offering a permanent separation for employees, this section will need to address all severance benefits that will be provided to the volunteers. This includes severance pay, outplacement, retirement contributions, etc. This section of the form should also include if the employee will be eligible for unemployment compensation if they voluntarily leave your organization.
If your organization is offering a temporary voluntary layoff where employees will not be paid, or where they will be working less than full time, your form should also have a section explaining how benefits will be impacted.
This is one of the trickiest parts of figuring out the logistics of your voluntary layoff. If you don’t offer full health insurance, vacation time, and financial benefits, you will likely have employees who are not willing to participate in the voluntary layoff. But if you do offer full benefits to these employees, it might not be seen as fair to your employees who have actually worked during that same time frame to accrue the benefits.
There is also the legal compliance that must be explored in regards to offering benefits in these situations. Each state has different laws that you must abide by. So, if you are offering the voluntary layoff package in multiple states, you will have to make sure your are compliant with each location.
A best practice in this situation is to analyze the laws in each of the states where you are located, and then make your voluntary layoff compliant with the state that has the most restrictive laws.
Make sure to consult with your legal counsel about the structure of your layoff and your form’s compliance with legal regulations before sending out information to your employees.