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Paycor: How To Rehire Furloughed Employees (With Template)

April 29, 2020
Furloughed employees agree to take an unpaid leave of absence in an effort to help their organizations cut costs temporarily. From the employer’s point of view, this helps them survive an unprecedented economic downturn but still retain the talent their business needs to come back, hopefully, better and stronger than ever. As you know, employers across America have been forced to furlough employees. Some companies will bring their employees back to work (though perhaps not back together in a physical office space) sooner rather than later and, of course, some will regrettably not be able to bring them back at all. If you’re considering ending a furlough, here’s what you need to know.

First of all, asking furloughed employees to return to work is cause for celebration, but don’t let that get in the way of following proper procedure. Just as you confirmed an employee’s furlough with an official letter, you should also send a furlough recall letter to all returning employees.

Download Furlough Recall Template

What a Furlough Recall Letter Should Include

Returning employees are likely to have a lot of questions. As well as stating all the necessary facts, take this opportunity to reassure them about what’s changed (and what hasn’t) when it comes to their place in the organization, their salary and benefits packages, and how you will be ensuring workplace safety.

An Employment Offer

Here’s the most important thing for employers to know—this is an offer letter, not just a set of instructions. Employees may have found alternative employment while furloughed or simply not wish to return to work at this time. So, employees should be given a choice whether to accept the offer to return, or reject it and have their employment terminated.

Return To Work Date

Don’t forget to include the exact date when an employee is invited to return to work.

Terms of Employment

This letter will now supersede any previous terms of employment, so it’s important to get all the important details right:

  • Position
  • Supervisor
  • Responsibilities / Job Description
  • Salary
  • Hours
  • Exempt/Non-Exempt Status

What’s Changed—And What Hasn’t

For full transparency, layout whether any of an employee’s terms of employment have changed. Even if there are only small changes, not disclosing them clearly will only lead to resentment. If salaries or hours have been reduced across the board, be clear about this.

Benefits Status

Employees will naturally want to know how the recall from furlough affects their company seniority, benefits, and any accrued PTO and sick leave.

New Safety Procedures

The furlough is over but the crisis isn’t. Employees should still work from home if they can. And if it isn’t possible in your industry, it’s an employer’s responsibility to create a safe work environment and work to promote social distancing. Your letter is a chance to lay out what your business will be doing to keep the workplace safe.

Possible measures include:

  • Scheduled handwashing
  • Regular disinfection of surfaces
  • Enforced social distancing
  • Reduced customer capacity
  • Staggered Shifts
  • Any industry-specific requirements


This is a time of high anxiety and you can’t be expected to predict every question a returning employee may have. Offer employees to chance to reach out privately with any questions and concerns.

Download a recall from furlough letter template from Paycor. 

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