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Downsizing and Reduction In Force a PEO Specialty

It's something many companies have been dealing with the last two years: downsizing and "RIF", or Reduction In Force of staff. Although Professional Employer Organizations do not routinely deal with Reduction in Force issues, due to it being a governmental staff issue and not generally a small business issue -- nevertheless, it is an important thing for business owners to acquaint themselves with (in a general "downsizing" sense), and PEOs can and do consult business owners on this matter.

Before a Reduction In Force (RIF) begins, the federal agency defines the competitive area, i.e. the geographical and organizational boundaries within which employees compete for retention. A competitive area may consist of all or part of an agency. The minimum competitive area is a bureau, major command, directorate, or other equivalent major subdivision of an agency within a local commuting area. If an agency wants to change a competitive area within 90 days of a RIF, the agency must obtain approval from Office of Personnel Management.

One of the most difficult situations in any worker's life is the prospect of being laid off from his or her job. When a productive member of society loses his or her job, the stress of facing the unknown can be agonizing. In the Federal Government, layoffs are called reductions in force, or RIFs. While the word "RIF" certainly has negative connotations, it also has another side -- as an objective system which determines how employees compete for retention when employment reductions are necessary. It is important to try and understand how the RIF process works. Therefore, a guide has been prepared for this purpose for the employer’s and employees’ benefits or one can consult the PEO directly in this regards.

Check out our directory's list of PEOs for one that can help your company set up an employee incentive program, aid with downsizing and RIF issues, and many other things. For more info, please visit

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