The holiday season is upon us and what is supposed to be a joyous time might not be for all.
With Bombardier announcing mass layoffs, General Motors closing its Oshawa, Ont., plant and many companies closing their books, employees are wondering if they could be next.
HR specialist Sherri Rabinovitch joined Global’s Laura Casella to break down what both the employer and employee can do in this situation.
Rabinovitch says the most vital thing to do is plan, “whether you’re the employer or employee.”
She recommends employers try temporary layoffs rather than full job cuts. “It’s really important for employers to be mindful that it is the holiday period and another 30 days won’t change anything for the business,” Rabinovitch says.
“Furthermore, employers can do something to postpone letting employees go during the holidays, such as temporary layoffs, to offset some of the bigger salaries.”
Employers can “then do what they need to do post-holiday season,” she says.
However, if employers do have to make cuts, offer employees assistance by hiring a transition team. “An organization will come in and help the employees who are being laid off prepare resumes, help develop interview skills, and assist in future job placement,” Rabinovitch says.
She believes organizations that respect employees should provide them with alternatives.
“Among all the other points, that to me is paramount, taking care of the people that worked for you.”
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For employees, being laid off can come as a shock.
“It’s such a shock. You always hear rumours, but you never think it’s going to happen, and then boom.”
So it is important for those who find themselves jobless to lean on family and friends for emotional support.
“It is incredibly crushing to lose a job at any time but when you’re thinking about the holidays and you’re planning and making sure that everyone has gifts and all of that stuff, when that happens to you it can be devastating,” Rabinovitch says.
She recommends the best thing employees can do is plan. Even if you aren’t expecting to be laid off, have an up-to-date CV and start networking.
“Anything can happen at any time,” she says. “If employees are planning and updating their CVs even slightly, they can hit the ground running right away.”
And finally, she recommends having a financial plan in place, with at least “three to six months of savings” set aside due to the competitive job market right now.