What is a Furlough Day?
A “furlough” or a “furlough day” refers to a leave of absence that is temporary. It may be an excused leave from work, from military service, or even a prison term. In most cases, a furlough is voluntary but it may also be imposed upon a person involuntarily. Literally a “furlough day” is one day off from work without pay. If the temporary leave will take more than one day, it is called simply as “furlough” or “furlough period”.
Furloughs are typically ordered by companies to cut costs. When a particular business is not doing very well, its owners may order the implementation of furloughs on some employees with varying coverage periods. In this case, the furlough is involuntary and the involved employees are asked to take some “days off” from their work and come back at a specified time. There are also other companies and organizations that handle tough economic times by managing the schedule of employees so that each will have specified furlough days in a given month.
Furloughs could also be voluntary. In this case, the involved person knows that he/she will be taking time off from work and will not be paid while being away from his/her job. This type of furlough may be called unpaid vacation or holiday leaves. Depending on company policies, some people are able to take long-term voluntary furloughs. Those in military duty may take long-term furloughs to be with family or to conduct other businesses away from the armed forces. In the case of furloughs for prisoners, some may be given a chance to work “outside of prison” at a specified period through a “work-release” program. In this way, some prisoners are able leave the prison compound and work outside with permission and/or supervision.
Furloughs are generally welcomed by people if they are voluntary. But in almost all involuntary and mandatory cases, most people disapprove of this idea for practical reasons. Mandatory furlough days mean loss of income and so would not help employees in their day-to-day needs.