Terminated vs Laid Off
Fired, laid off, and terminated are the words we commonly hear in relation to ending the services of an employee in an organization. Most of us do not pay any attention to the differences between these methods of involuntary ending of services of an employee, as after all, the end result of all three is the same and that is to bring to an end the services of an employee. However, semantics apart, there are subtle differences between terminated and laid off that can have implications for both the employee as well as the employer. Let us take a closer look.
Losing a job is a very disturbing event in the life of an individual both financially as well as emotionally. To mitigate the stressful effects of loss of job, there are certain rights of employees and obligations of employers that need to be fulfilled. Termination of services of an employee is a general term that means removing him from service. Termination is always involuntary as no employee wants to be terminated. It could be because of the poor performance of the employee or for any other reason, but termination in general just implies that the employer has decided to let go of the services of an employee for one or the other reason. For some reasons, the term termination has bad connotations in the labor circles, and it is seen as a sign that the employer found fault with the performance of the employee. Many see it as a sign that the employee has done something bad to deserve to be removed from his service.
If a candidate in an interview responds to a question pertaining to previous employment by saying ‘I was terminated’, it somehow does not create a good impression on the prospective employers. It seems as if one was removed from service for inappropriate behavior or violation of policies of the organization.
If you are told by your employer that you are being removed from service on account of difficult times the company is facing such as downsizing or shortfall in the budget, it is clear that you are being laid off and not terminated. An employee is laid off because of reasons that are beyond his control. There is nothing wrong that he has committed, and the employer also does not indicate that he is being removed because of bad performance or behavior. However, just like termination, laid off also signifies that this is an involuntary dismissal from service against the wishes of the employee. Laid off is not like being fired or getting the sack as it implies that there was no fault of the employee, and he was a victim of the policies of the management. Lay off is common when a company is facing difficult financial conditions or trying to restructure itself.
What is the difference between Terminated and Laid Off?
• Termination is seen in a negative light by prospective employers whereas laid off is seen as being no fault of the employee.
• Most people perceive termination as a result of either bad performance or bad behavior of the employee, whereas laid off is seen a result of downsizing or restructuring of the organization.
• Termination is seen as deliberate and permanent while laid off is seen as temporary, and the company could reinstate the employee in the future.