The coronavirus pandemic has forced many local businesses to implement widespread layoffs. If you’ve had to make this difficult decision, you’re not alone. Since March 1, more than 200,000 Hawaii workers have filed for unemployment—that’s almost one-third of our entire workforce.
Rehiring the same employees you laid off, can have many benefits—they are already fully vetted, know your company, and can jump back in quickly.
As you evaluate who to hire back on your team, here are some additional considerations to weigh.
Employer considerations for rehiring laid-off employees
1. Have rehire guidelines in place
Before you bring back former employees, ensure your managers know the rehire guidelines. For example, will employees be allowed to “bridge” their employment for benefit purposes? If so, what time frame does this apply to? Also, do rehires need to go through another pre-employment drug test or background check?
2. Get the necessary paperwork in order
For the most part, a rehired employee should be given much of the same employment paperwork as a new hire. For compliance reasons, they may need to fill out a new Form I-9 and Form W-4. And for confirmation reasons, they should be given the opportunity to make changes to their benefit elections and direct deposit information.
3. Evaluate their pay and benefits package
Has your pay or benefit offering changed? For businesses that have experienced financial difficulties, it is not uncommon to reduce salaries or benefits to meet financial needs. If that is the case, make sure to communicate any changes in a timely manner.
4. Prepare for rejection and resentment
Laying off employees was probably the last thing you wanted to do. However, there is a chance that former employees may hold resentment from their original departure, depending on how it was handled, or have already found other employment. There is also the possibility that some may decline work because they are receiving sufficient funds from unemployment. Declining work could disqualify employees from receiving unemployment benefits, so talk to your HR representative.
This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, and readers should consult with their advisor or counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.