As Human Resources professionals, you are involved in the lives of the employees.  Your job can at times feel like you are basking in sunshine and flowers.  Many times, you are the first person to say, “Welcome to the company”, “Congratulations on your promotion”, and “Best of luck in your retirement.”  Unfortunately, you are also the person who must say, “I’m sorry but we have to let you go.”

Lay-offs happen even in the best companies.  Transitioning employees, sometimes long-term employees, can be difficult. How you handle the situation upfront can determine outcomes farther down line, especially in regards to unemployment claims.  A misunderstanding at the beginning could result in Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) hearings, or legal actions.  Here are some helpful tips:

Be sure to know the termination form backwards and forwards.  Understand what each section means.

Practice explaining the termination form before the event.  Be certain you can explain it to employees in plain language, not HR or legal jargon.

Be able to explain the consequences of not signing the termination form.  For UniqueHR co-employers, the termination form is essential for TWC to make a determination.

Explain next steps to the employee.  For instance, it is very important for UniqueHR co-employers to instruct employees to call UniqueHR within two business days to report as “available for reassignment”.  Based on availability, the UniqueHR representative will direct them to our staffing agency, or the TWC to file a claim for unemployment.

The best news is during difficult situations like lay-offs, UniqueHR’s team of Human Resource experts are here to help.  We can answer your questions, give consultation on the best way to handle certain aspects of the situation, and coach you on explaining the termination form to your employees.   While lay-offs may not be the sunshine and flowers part of Human Resources, handling lay-offs correctly can put you on a rosy path to protecting your company, and providing good advice to employees in a difficult situation.