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2020-06-04 09:42:00covid-19EnglishHow to Rehire Employees: The initial outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic might have compelled you to take the unpleasant decision of... to Rehire Employees Laid-Off Due to the Coronavirus?

How to Rehire Employees Laid-Off Due to the Coronavirus?

5 min read

In this article, you will learn:

The Coronavirus Pandemic had a severe impact on the businesses with the government imposing lockdown and adopting measures to implement social distancing.

With both supply and demand being impacted, business leaders across the country considered taking certain financial actions to cushion themselves from being hard hit.

Cutting costs has been an inevitable and instant reaction for businesses to keep themselves afloat. One of the avenues where cost-cutting has been evident is the employee layoff. Companies had no choice but to part ways with talented employees as it could not afford to keep them on board given the falling revenues, changing customer behavior, and supply chain disruptions.

As per the figures released by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, unemployment in India rose from 8.75% in March 2020 to 23.52% in April 2020. This clearly indicates the challenge business leaders have been since the COVID-19 outbreak and its serious impact on the talented workforce. has had a serious impact on the workforce.

This article talks about the ways in which you as a business owner can rehire the valuable employees you had to let go due to Coronavirus.

Design a Rehire Policy

The initial outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic might have compelled you to take the unpleasant decision of laying off some of the talented pool of your organization.

However, with the hope of the economy slowly opening up and demand to pick up in certain sectors, you may consider filling certain job positions back.

And given the numerous benefits such as less training time, the familiarity of the employee with the company’s culture, the known competencies of such employees, low failure rate, and fast hiring, you may resort to rehiring the laid-off employees.

If that is the case, then it is important to have a properly written rehiring policy so as to ensure focused and systematic efforts to recruit employees. This is because a written rehiring policy would enable you to formulate certain rules and limitations which will help in rehiring employees successfully.

How to Formulate a Rehiring Policy?

Here are certain steps you can follow to come up with the rehiring policy for your business:

  • Understanding the need to recruit laid-off employees and having the top leaders valuing the same
  • Define the category of these ex-employees that are being considered for rehiring based on their previous performance and conduct
  • The legal effects of rehiring such employees
  • Defining the matrix measuring the success of the rehiring program

Comply With the Ministry of Labor and Employment Guidelines

Ministry of Labor and Employment lays down the labor codes on wages, occupational safety, health and working conditions, social security, etc. defining the duties and responsibilities that you as a business owner have towards your employees.

Further, it also lays down code regarding the weekly and the daily working hours, wages for overtime, night shifts, leave, etc. that you need to consider while rehiring such employees.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the manner in which the businesses function today. But, the requirement to comply with the labor laws applicable to your business still remains.

Therefore, compliance with such labor laws is mandatory to avoid landing yourself into uneasy situations. Your employees hold the right to claim wages, extra pay for overtime, breaks, safe and healthy working conditions, etc.

Therefore, it is your responsibility as a business owner to be conscious of the labor law codes.

Communicate Openly With Employees

As a business owner, you might presume that accepting the tough times your company has been going through during the pandemic might be of no use to such ex-employees.

However, this is not the case for each one of us are aware of the economic and the social impacts that the COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in.

The employees laid-off understand the manner in which the various sectors of the economy have been hit badly and how the falling demand, changes in the customer behavior, and supply chain disruptions due to lockdown have resulted in falling revenues for the business world over.

Therefore, communicating clearly to the laid-off employees the circumstances in which they were asked to separate, clarifying the current financial position of your business and the goals you wish to seek in the near future would give them confidence and help build the trust.

In addition to this, clarify as far as possible certain questions that employees might have with regards to their job role, working hours, wages, etc. You may not be able to answer all the questions with certainty but trying answering questions as far as possible.

Since the times are about survival and that the situation is the same for all businesses across the globe, the laid-off employees would understand the situation your firm is into if you communicate openly with them.

Consider Whom To Rehire

The most pressing question while considering rehiring would be who out of the laid-off employees you want to rehire first. Thus, it is important to have some criteria in place for rehiring that helps you decide and make decisions easily with regard to rehiring.

Some of the potential criteria that you can consider for rehiring is as follows:

  • Unique v/s Difficult To Replace Skill Sets

This criterion establishes that you can first reach out to the laid-off employees having skill sets that are unique in nature and are difficult to find.

In other words, if the company chooses to replace such employees with the new ones, it will not only have to incur higher costs but wait for a long period with no guarantee that such a replacement could be made available soon.

  • Performance of the Employee

The second criterion could be the overall performance of the laid-off employees in the past when they were a part of the firm.

You can go back to the records maintained as fas as these laid-off employees are concerned in order to have a better understanding of their performance.

Such records can be in the form of a production matrix, performance reviews, history of absenteeism, disciplinary actions, etc.

  • Level of Seniority

The level of seniority of the laid-off employees can also be one of the criteria for rehiring. This is because you might need the experience and the expertise on board to put your business on the trajectory of growth.

However, this criterion comes with a caveat. The situation changing dramatically with COVID-19 outbreak, you might require people with a different set of skill sets that the senior employees would not be able to relate with.

  • The Ability of the Employee and Willingness to Take Up Work Outside the Typical Job Role

With such uncertainty looming, you certainly need employees who can take responsibility and get going with tasks even if such tasks do not form part of their job title.

Such a quality can be identified considering the past actions of the employees or communicating with these laid-off employees to know how willing they are to take up tasks that are outside their job title.


Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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