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Reduction-In-Force (RIF) Checklist

A template and checklist for implementing a reduction-in-force or layoffs at your company.
As the COVID-19 crisis drags on, many companies large and small have to deal with letting employees go. Whether you call it layoffs or Reduction-In-Force, the result is still the same. Employees will get let go for reasons outside of their control. While no one wants to let go of staff, the economic realities may force you to do so. This template provides a simple checklist for things to think about if you are thinking about going down this path.

Reduction-In-Force definition

This is the definition from :
A reduction in force (RIF) is when an employee is let go from a company due to budgetary reasons, workforce planning initiatives, position eliminations or other right-sizing events. Reductions in force are typically permanent because the roles of those let go are usually
eliminated with the termination of employment.

What's the difference between RIF and layoffs?

While the result may look the same (employees being let go), there are some subtle differences. With a layoff, there is an expectation that an employee may be re-hired if the financial situation of the company improves or if the employee's old role becomes available again. A Reduction-In-Force is more permanent, and there is no expectation that the employee will be re-hired due to the financial situation of the company, the elimination of entire groups at the company, and workforce planning has deemed the employee's role to not be essential. There are also legal reasons for implementing a Reduction-In-Force but I won't get into that here. Please consult a lawyer to understand the full ramifications of a Reduction-In-Force should you decide this is the right path for your company

About this template

Each page in this template has a checklist along with a "worksheet" for you to actually fill out the information with the relevant team members on your Reduction-In-Force task force. The checklists included in this template are not limited to other activities that may be relevant for your specific company, industry, or financial situation. Please consult a lawyer for a more thorough Reduction-In-Force process.
- Objectives for your RIF and the task force to run the process
- Criteria you can use to determine layoffs
- One place to track all benefit policies for laid off employees
- Plan to communicate RIF to employees, 3rd parties, and the public

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