Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2014

Furloughs: An Alternative to Layoffs for Economic Downturns

by Sandra J. Sucher and Susan J. Winterberg


This technical note describes the practice of employee furloughs (also known as work sharing or short time work) including their regulatory frameworks in different countries and the business and ethical implications of their use.

Keywords: work sharing; furloughs; temporary layoff; short time work; Employee Relationship Management; Job Cuts and Outsourcing;


Sucher, Sandra J., and Susan J. Winterberg. "Furloughs: An Alternative to Layoffs for Economic Downturns." Harvard Business School Background Note 314-097, February 2014.