What is the main difference between a layoff and a flexible leave? | Roamingdesk.com

There has been much confusion surrounding the terms “furlough” and “flexible furlough” since the COVID-19 pandemic began. To help clarify things, we have put together a quick guideline to expand the difference between the two. Furlough is when an employee is temporarily laid off and is to work during that time. They may ask to stay home or take unpaid leave. Flexible leave is when employees work reduced hours but are still payable for their work. This type of leave can reduce labor costs without laying off employees. So, which type of furlough is suitable for business? It depends on the situation. If we need to reduce labor costs but keep employees working, then a flexible furlough may be the way to go. However, furlough may be the only option if we need to eliminate labor costs for some time.

What is a furlough?

A furlough is a mandatory, temporary leave of absence from work. Flexible furloughs allow employees to take time off when they choose, and we often use it during periods of slow business.

What is a flexible furlough?

A flexible furlough is a type of leave that allows employees to take or manage time off from work when they need it without giving advance notice. This type of leave worker use for any reason, including personal or family emergencies, medical appointments, or vacation. Depending on the company’s policy, flexible furloughs can be payable or unpayable.

Pros and cons of each

There are pros and cons to both furlough and flexible furlough.





-Can help reduce costs for businesses during tough economic times

-Allows employees to keep their jobs and health benefits

-Can be a temporary solution for businesses that are struggling to stay afloat



-Employees may feel unfairly compared to other employees who are not on furlough

– Employees on furlough may feel like they are not contributing to the company and could become disengaged

– Businesses may struggle to bring employees back from furlough once the economy improves

When to use each type of furlough?

There are vital things to remember when deciding whether to use a furlough or flexible furlough. First, think about the needs of the business. For example, furlough may be the best option if we need to reduce hours or days of operation.

We use furlough if we have specific positions that are no longer needed or if we need to reduce our workforce for a short period.


Flexible furlough may be a better option if we need to make changes to our employees’ hours more regularly. For example, this could be due to fluctuations in demand or changes in our business operations. Flexible furloughs can also allow employees to take turns working reduced hours, which can help spread the impact of reduced hours across the workforce.


Ultimately, deciding which type of furlough creates the most sense for our business and employees. If we are unsure which option is best, speak with an HR professional or employment law attorney who can help us understand the implications of each type of furlough and make the best decision for our business.

How to transition back to work after a furlough?

If we take furlough longer than usual, we may wonder how to transition back to work. Here are a few standard things to keep in mind:


  1. Talk to the employer about our return to work date and expectations.


  1. Get caught up on any work we missed while away.


  1. Be flexible with our schedule, as our employer may need to make some adjustments.


  1. Check in with our co-workers and see how they are doing.


  1. We must take some time for ourselves to adjust back into the working world.

Career counseling

Leave a Reply