While looking at the suggested tag synonyms I noticed two that could potentially themselves be merged into the broader tag: and .

The latter two have 80 and 38 questions respectively while the broader tag has 300+. Redundancy lacks a tag description while layoff has one that doesn't actually accurately capture the concept of being laid off as opposed to being fired (for performance issues). Termination's description covers both types of involuntarily ending to a job as well as quitting/resigning. Not sure about that either.

At present redirects to termination so to be consistent we should probably merge these two tags in as well. Unless we'd like to have a distinct tag for lay-offs in which case I'd say we should keep the more common US term of and merge the mostly British term into it.


Based on the overall support for mapping between redundancy and layoff, this synonym is now approved. A suggested one from layoff > redundancy existed with +2 score that I swapped around, then confirmed via merger.

Tag wikis have been adjusted as well. Suggested usage now:

  • : firing [a lot of questions will still use this generically]
  • : not-for-cause termination
  • : at employee's initiaitve

updating post history, 50 rows affected (pipe delimited)

updating posts, 39 rows affected (pipe delimited)

updating PostTags associations, 32 rows affected

destroying 'redundancy': [redundancy] removed from (0 post, 0 history, 1 tag)

total: 1 tags deleted, 0 posts modified, 0 post histories modified

0 history records had empty tags; retagged to [untagged]

0 post records had empty tags; retagged to [untagged]

updating count for target tag, new count: 112

tag remapping of [layoff] and [redundancy] complete!

remapping 0 synonyms

0 favorite and ignored tags remapped!

0 tracked tag badges were remapped!

Tag Synonym redundancy -> layoff was approved!

  • 3
    I have seen cases where it is important to distinct between the two types of termination (performance and non-performance). Perhaps we need to be able to differentiate them. – DarkCygnus Mod Aug 5 '19 at 19:54
  • @DarkCygnus A few others here make a sound argument for preserving a layoff tag, obvious question then is whether the firing tag synonym needs to go. I'm personally leaning towards no to avoid tag fragmentation with little added benefit. Layoff has a (mostly) clear definition while everything else can fall under the general moniker. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 6 '19 at 18:45
  • So, you say redundancy merged to layoff, but keep firing separate and pointing to termination? – DarkCygnus Mod Aug 6 '19 at 18:48
  • @DarkCygnus It's the status quo but also what I guess makes most sense yes. layoff will have value to stand on its own with termination used as a catch-all. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 6 '19 at 19:00
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    I see. Yes, I am also of the opinion that both cases should be able to be differentiated. Merging redundancy to layoff and keeping firing -> termination is the way I see for now to go. – DarkCygnus Mod Aug 6 '19 at 19:09
  • Any news on this? – DarkCygnus Mod Aug 20 '19 at 16:17
  • @DarkCygnus Lost sight of this. After posting I kept an eye on this for a week hoping there'd be some consensus but even know there's no clear support for even the simple merge we discussed here earlier. Negative score on the question is probably because I included the termination merge which has no support and shouldn't be done. I'll check with the mod team if they support the merge to give us some measure of a quorum. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 21 '19 at 16:35
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    @DarkCygnus Merge performed. See edit and Monica's answer below. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 23 '19 at 9:56

Agreed with mhoran_psprep's answer that and should be merged. The fact that and mean the same thing in the US but different things in the UK is an indication to me that they should be merged. If they are kept separate, the tag would "correctly" contain both questions about job elimination in the US and seasonal labor in the UK, while the tag would contain only questions about job elimination in the UK (ignoring other countries for the moment). Since the two definitions are still fairly similar, better to combine them to avoid the confusion.

I also want to emphasize that these should not be redirected to . Redundancy and lay-offs are a specific type of termination. Specifically it's for situations where a position was eliminated due to business reasons and does not directly reflect on employee performance.

"Firing" and "termination" are broader terms that don't necessarily indicate either way the cause of being removed from your job. You could be fired-for-cause, laid-off, or just not given a reason at all (particularly in at-will locations). I agree that the two terms are synonymous, but I do not think they should replace redundancy/layoffs.


There are two types of termination: ones that are the employee's fault and ones that aren't. I think it makes sense to have one tag "home" for each.

Layoffs and rundundancies are in the same category. They should be synonyms. We could get pedantic and make them both synonyms of a new "termination-not-for-cause", to sit alongside "termination-for-cause", but I don't think we should.

In my experience, when people use the word "fire" they mean the other category, termination for cause. And while -- as demonstrated in this answer -- "terminated" means any ending of employment, I think when people say "terminated" they usually mean "fired". So I'm comfortable with "fired" being a synonym of "termination" and that meaning the "for cause" case, but I can be convinced otherwise.

Whatever we do, the tag wikis should include links to the other relevant tags.

  • Merge done and I've updated the tag wikis. Note that quitting also exists. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 23 '19 at 9:55

Yes merge and .

They are basically two terms with the same general meaning: the loss of job or the reduction of hours due to financial problems in the workplace. The loss of job isn't related to the employees performance.

  • Layoff does not necessarily imply payment while redundancy does, well in some localities.... – Solar Mike Aug 6 '19 at 12:08
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    @SolarMike I'm not sure I understand the difference. In the US at least, there is no difference in the two terms. I had always taken "lay-off" to be the term more common in the US, and "redundancy" to be the UK equivalent, with no actual significant difference in meaning. – David K Aug 6 '19 at 12:14
  • Well, seasonal workers get "laid off" and don't get paid for the off season while workers who get made redundant tend to get a payment, called a redundancy payment, which is based on several factors, one being length of service. So Those terms seem significantly different. – Solar Mike Aug 6 '19 at 12:16
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    In the US people getting laid off may be paid a severance. It can be based on number of years working, or some other agreement. In some cases they get nothing. – mhoran_psprep Aug 6 '19 at 12:29
  • @SolarMike The specifics of payout are definitely different depending on where you are on what your contract is, but that's true of the majority of topics here. We don't have different tags for notice-period, even though in the US it's voluntary, and in India you are absolutely required to serve. I think the similarity between redundancy and layoff, that they are both about the position being eliminated, is more important than the legal nuances. – David K Aug 6 '19 at 13:19
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    @DavidK But I do believe the difference is significant and, probably, so do those who get laid off compared to those who are made redundant... – Solar Mike Aug 6 '19 at 13:28
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    It would appear that British English has the verb "to lay off" as well but defines it differently as a usually temporary dismissal of employees from their job due to lack of budget or work. Decent description here. David's answer covers my take on it which is to support a merge to avoid drawing a distinction that different people will interpret differently with little added benefit. – Lilienthal Mod Aug 6 '19 at 18:42
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    I agree with merging the tags, especially because the "layoff" as a synonym of "temporary contract ended" seems to be a very UK thing. For non-natives that were educated in American English, "layoff" brings to mind the US meaning, not the UK. The UK meaning for me is more a natural consequence of having a temporary or fixed-date contract. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 7 '19 at 8:28

The tags should NOT be merged.

The understanding of the meanings of these terms varies by locality.

Not going through firing etc as that does not seem to have any issue.

But "Layoff" and "Redundancy" do have a separate meaning in the UK as I understand from being employed there and seeing colleagues loose their jobs.

Being "Laid off" means the contract ends, an easy example is seasonal work such as fruit picking or snow clearing ie, once the season ends then the work stops, usually on a given date. The worker then finds other work for the next season.

Redundancy means that the post is being discontinued and the worker is entitled to compensation, the amount of which is usually based on recognition of the skills and the time served. There are claims in court where the company has to prove the post no longer exists and often, they cannot... So, a colleague of mine was being made redundant (he was close to retirement anyway) and was actually quite happy since the redundancy pay was significant due to his time served which meant he could, in fact, retire early.

So, these should be separate, at least for the UK, but if the tags are for the USA only then I won't be using those tags. Well, I don't use tags as I don't ask many questions...

  • While I understand that the UK has separate meanings for "Lay off" and "Redundancy", my opinion is that the tags should reflect the usual terms that are understandable by most non-native speakers (since this exchange is global). If you learned American English (as I did) the meaning of "laid off" is what the UK understands as "redundancy" and the UK meaning of "laid off" is just "contract ended" as happens with all temporary contracts. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 7 '19 at 8:25
  • Ahh, but if you can't speak english like she should be spoke... – Solar Mike Aug 7 '19 at 8:30
  • So, in your meaning of "laid-off" you get a termination payment based on time served ? – Solar Mike Aug 7 '19 at 8:32
  • For the American English meaning of "layoff", you're entitled to compensation based on local laws and collective (unions, work council, etc.) / individual agreements which may or may not be based on time served. The employee was prematurely dismissed from a position due to no fault of their own - if there was fault it would be called "termination", if they were dismissed from the position in the due time on the contract (the case of seasonal / temporary contracts), the contract ended. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 7 '19 at 8:37
  • I think it is past the time that you face the reality that the majority of English speakers do use the American dialect instead of UK. A communicator adapts to their audience. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 7 '19 at 8:39
  • The number of Americans speaking "an English dialect" is far outweighed by the number of people speaking English around the world... India is a good example... – Solar Mike Aug 7 '19 at 8:42
  • Funny case because all Indian and Pakistani people I know use UK English pronouciation with American English vernacular. If we're discussing written speech, what is the source of the vernacular is more relevant than the pronouciation. But well, I guess you're entitled to your opinion, whether the majority will agree or not is a horse of a different color. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Aug 8 '19 at 7:30
  • Well, I lived in Coventry for several years and the Indians & Pakistanis speak very well but the English idiom & vernacular is prevalent... also, spent time in Birmngham... again the Indians don’t talk « redneck »... – Solar Mike Aug 8 '19 at 7:39

I disagree that "layoff" and "redundancy" have a similar meaning in the US. The answer from Solar Mike describes the difference in the UK. Given there's a clear difference in the use of the terms, they should remain separate tags.

Layoff: The collective dismissal of a group of employees, likely due to needs of the organization unrelated to the behavior or performance of the employees themselves. -Termination tag wiki

Redundancy: The determination that two roles are grossly similar and not mutually required during the integration of an organization following an acquisition or merger.

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