Increased Lead Time Requirement for Layoff Notifications

Policy or Initiative Description

When laying off workers, employers should give their employees a warning with enough time to ease the transition of employees looking for new work. Policymakers can mandate this via legislation like The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires businesses to notify workers and the government of at least 60 days in advance of a mass layoff event. Layoffs cannot always be avoided, but transition planning should include as many stakeholders as possible to mitigate negative impacts and to find mutually beneficial solutions.


Swedish businesses provide up to 6 months of advance notice before any layoff. This notice is a key component of its highly successful reemployment system for displaced workers (over 85 percent of Swedish workers are reemployed within a year, compared to about half in the U.S.).


McKay, Connor, Ethan Pollack, and Alastair Fitzpayne. “Automation and a Changing Economy. Part II: Policies For Shared Prosperity.” The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative. April 2019.



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