Meaning of lay-off in English:


Pronunciation /ˈleɪɒf/

See synonyms for lay-off


  • 1A temporary or permanent discharge of a worker or workers because of economic conditions or shortage of work.

    ‘the workforce is on strike over lay-offs’
    • ‘the most recent lay-off saw staff fall to 175 from 250’
    • ‘The temporary lay-off of over 650 workers at the mines will begin on November 17 and 50 workers will be kept on for essential maintenance.’
    • ‘A spokesman said lay-offs among temporary staff were part of the cyclical nature of the business and that the 350 permanent employees had not been affected.’
    • ‘‘You would imagine that some of the negative speculation about the market and the recent spate of lay-offs would have had some effect, but so far there is no sign of it,’ he said.’
    • ‘In the past, manufacturers responded to cyclical downturns in sales by making temporary lay-offs, usually concentrated among blue-collar workers.’
    • ‘He has the battle scars of dealing with cost-cutting and staff lay-offs.’
    • ‘In the past six months, the sharp downturn in the market has seen increasing numbers of IT recruitment agencies experience profit losses, staff lay-offs and complete closure.’
    • ‘A union statement said business conglomerates were threatening the livelihood of casual workers by mass lay-offs and unilateral termination of contracts.’
    • ‘However, business operations have been restructured, with workers across the board accepting wage cuts and lay-offs.’
    • ‘Nor are redundancies arising from lay-offs and short-time working included, even though two workers each put on half-time still means a job lost.’
    • ‘Unions sources, meanwhile, strongly hinted the dispute could be labelled official due to the lay-offs and workers being locked out of sites.’
    • ‘City and county managers have warned of staff lay-offs and increased charges as a direct consequence.’
    • ‘When the predicted marketplace correction happens next year, things will begin to look up again for those who were forced into lay-offs, as companies will have to start hiring again.’
    • ‘Privatisation leads to massive lay-offs and pay cuts for workers.’
    • ‘Unless urgent measures are drawn up to pull visitors back to the province, local tourism operators fear that staff lay-offs are inevitable, particularly in the hotel trade.’
    • ‘Unlike clashes between workers which often resulted in disciplinary lay-offs, these cases frequently merited the ultimate sanction of discharge.’
    • ‘Yet the chief executives of these companies remain relatively low-profile, making headlines only when announcing expansions or job lay-offs.’
    • ‘If there are lay-offs, they will probably be sales related.’
    • ‘The lay-offs account for nearly one fifth of the company's 63,000-strong European workforce.’
    • ‘The first week of the transfer window saw lay-offs rather than transfers.’
    • ‘Recruitment levels and morale within the sector were affected by a series of high profile lay-offs.’
    redundancy, dismissal, discharge
    View synonyms
  • 2A period during which someone is unable to take part in a sport or other activity due to injury or illness.

    ‘there were serious doubts over her fitness after such a lengthy lay-off’
    • ‘The British number one made his comeback last month after a lengthy lay-off with a shoulder injury, but lost his first two matches back on the tour.’
    • ‘Despite a lengthy lay-off from the sport, he showed that he has lost none of his speed or punching technique.’
    • ‘Injury in South Africa was yet another cruel blow to a young man who had fought back from a long period of enforced lay-off through injury.’
    • ‘Five goals to Smith's credit in two games, after a lengthy lay-off due to injury.’
    • ‘He may boast a freshness his rivals do not have after his lengthy lay-off from the sport.’
    • ‘That was his first run-out of the season after an injury lay-off but his reputation as a big-time player might earn him a place back in the starting line-up.’
    • ‘The midfielder hasn't played for 18 months and has joined the North West Counties Division Two leaders to assist his recovery from an injury lay-off.’
    • ‘It was originally feared that his knee injury would require a lengthier lay-off but a scan has suggested the cup final on March 14 is possible.’
    • ‘Of course with football being a very physical game there were always plenty of knocks to be taken, some leading to injuries and lay-offs.’
    • ‘This latest loan agreement has come at an ideal time for him to get back into competitive football after suffering two injury lay-offs.’
    • ‘That has changed: firstly, he has not had to contend with long-term injury lay-offs.’
    • ‘He then entered the fray for Malton after a lay-off with injury and quickly made his mark with a powerful burst to get his name on the scoresheet.’
    • ‘Still not back to his best after his injury lay-off; hasn't got his timing right but there are signs of improvement.’
    • ‘The 23-year-old right-back was released by Doncaster Rovers in the summer following a seven-month injury lay-off.’
    • ‘I had a good season at Chelsea prior to my long lay-off due to injury and had scored nine goals.’
    • ‘The Cork senior player did make an appearance in the quarter-final against Doonbeg and showed no ill-effects of his 14 week lay-off with a back injury.’