Do employees get paid during the time a business is closed for renovations?


I'm curious if a company has to (or if it is normal to) pay their employees if they, for instance, close the business for a while for renovations.

For a specific case, say a restaurant closes for a month to renovate, do they fire their employees, lay them off, put them on leave without pay, or pay them their normal wage during the renovation?

It seems that if the employee is put out of work at no fault of their own, they should still get paid.

Edit: This question pertains to US laws.


asked Nov 13 '11 at 15:22
Josh M.
138 points
  • It actually isn't related to me at all - I was just curious. Thanks. – Josh M. 12 years ago

3 Answers


In Australia, it would depend on what basis they were employed. If they were casual then you wouldn't roster them on and therefore wouldn't pay them. If the staff were permanent employees, then you would have to pay them for the time the restaurant was closed.

There should be a government body in your area you can ask about this.

answered Nov 13 '11 at 20:25
Susan Jones
4,128 points


If they are paid hourly (and I suspect they are in a restaurant), you probably are not required to pay them for the time they don't work. When I used to work in food service, occasionally I would show up to work, and be told we were closed for kitchen cleaning, or something similar, and I'd go home without pay. Of course, this was just for a single day, not for a full month.

And, as others have said, it likely depends on your local laws.

But even if it's legal not to pay them, it's probably not a good idea. As @NetTecture said, many will probably leave (whether or not you officially "fire" them).

If there's any way you can afford to continue paying them, I would suggest doing so, as it seems like the right thing to do. Maybe even if you can't pay them their full wage.

You might also look for creative ways to keep employing some of them during the rennovation. Can you pay any of them to help paint, or tear up old carpet? Whether this is possible may also depend on local laws, insurance, and who you contract most of the rennovation work to, etc.

answered Nov 13 '11 at 23:36
Jonathan Hall
275 points


For a specific case, say a restaurant closes for a month to renovate, do they fire their
employees, lay them off, put them on leave without pay,

In most countries it is illegal to put employees on leave without pay without their fault or a catastrophy. Rnenovations don't count.

Firing them is an option, just you won't get them back if they are good. You fuck them, they leave.

At the end, you pay them. Part of renovation costs.

answered Nov 13 '11 at 18:40
Net Tecture
11 points
  • Thanks, that makes sense. This question was for US laws. – Josh M. 12 years ago
  • From where do you get your facts? In most countries it's completly legal to reduce staff if income is low or downscaling. The laws regarding letting people go / laying them off is rather complicated in some countries, but still is an viable possibility. Imagine doing business if a hire was for life... – Rozon 12 years ago
  • Bu this is not slow business - and restaurants are teams. Letting them go for 3 weeks is normalyl not ok. You can fire them (and not get them back) but every regulation I know requires more than "I need to just renovate my restaurant" styles of problems for temporary leaves. What CAn easiyl be done is scheule combined holidays. After all, renovations are not planned a week in advance. – Net Tecture 12 years ago
  • Yeah, but even in the US then you stand there after t3 weeks without the trained team. STUPID move. – Net Tecture 12 years ago

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