Furloughs for many


Many people are “on furlough” this month, in many European countries.

A “furlough” is a period of time away from work – it can be a voluntary decision by a person who needs time away from work, or a temporary requirement from an employer or business that is facing enormous difficulties.

Let´s look at the use of the word. Examine these:

  • The company will furlough 40 workers when the factory shuts down (la empresa despedirá temporalmente 40 trabajadores durante el cierre de la fábrica).
  • Mr. Sánchez´s harsh measures mean that many furloughs are necessary. You could also use the phrase “temporary lay-offs” (un despedido temporal). 
  • Many workers have been furloughed in Spain and Britain.
  • I have a tough choice – accept a 2 month furlough or lose my job (…una decisión dura – aceptar un despedido temporal o…).

Sometimes people ask for a furlough, a temporary absence from work for personal reasons because they want to travel or go on a course, for example. These furloughs are usually unpaid (sin paga).


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