I'm trying to find a word to describe an individual whom is paid while the business they work in is temporarily closed. Example: While a library is renovated, the staff are paid for the hours they would have worked.

I've thought about "paid leave" and "paid time off" but it doesn't seem correct as leave would suggest the workers voluntarily took the time off, and the latter would suggest a vacation.

The closest I've come to would be a "paid furlough". Any ideas?

  • I think you've got it.
    – bib
    Oct 28 '13 at 23:54
  • The problem I have with paid furlough, which I should have mentioned, is that modern media encourages the definition of furlough to imply that there's no wage being paid, so a paid furlough seems to be like a negation of itself
    – Chris
    Oct 28 '13 at 23:57
  • 2
    In France, they call it August.
    – bib
    Oct 28 '13 at 23:58
  • "[A]n individual whom is paid"?
    – Robusto
    Oct 29 '13 at 0:08
  • At my company, they call it an administrative holiday.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Oct 29 '13 at 0:10


paid temporary shutdown


paid temporary closedown

These phrases focuses on the business suspension, rather than the employee.

Despite your misgivings, I think a phrase including furlough would not seem jarring to most. One of the definitions is

(US) a temporary laying-off of employees, usually because there is insufficient work to occupy them

As you indicate, most furloughs involve no pay (in fact avoiding salary costs is the most common reason for furlough). But if you said paid furlough, as you considered, the meaning would probably be clear. In the recent US government shutdown, workers were often described as being furloughed, and some were paid despite not working.


I would use "temporary paid-shutdown" or "temporary, paid shutdown." The hyphen and comma emphasize the paid aspect of the shutdown, which I believe is more important than the temporary aspect. Is it fair to assume that a shutdown would be temporary?

I wouldn't use "leave" instead of "shutdown" because the former is open to misinterpretation. I'm not familiar with the word "furlough" so it's better to use the more familiar "shutdown."

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