There is a rail strike coming which is due to disrupt the early part of next week, after National Rail announced a 24-hour strike from 5pm on bank holiday Monday. The impact of the strike is due to affect millions of workers across the country, who will be faced with severe difficulties in coming to work, with many expected to migrate from rail to road, clogging up already congested routes.
Employers should prepare themselves for major disruption, not only in the market, as supply chains grind to a halt, but also from high number of employee absences, with many workers unable to get into work. Yet how should the employer react when the problem is owing to circumstances beyond the employee’s control?
If an employee is unable to attend the workplace due to strikes affecting public transport, the employer is not required to pay them. However, simply withholding payment could create a breakdown in the relationship, with the employee feeling victimised for something beyond their control. Consequently the employer may want to consider other approaches to dealing with employee absences caused by strikes
- Accept the situation and pay the employee in full
- Pay the employee in full if they can work from home, including access to suitable facilities
- Give the employee the opportunity to take the time off as paid annual leave
- Allow the employee the opportunity to make up the hours at another time
Preparation in always better than reaction when faced with these circumstances or similar. We recommend that employers include policies in the company handbook on dealing with a range of employee absences, including absences beyond the employee’s control. This way your staff can familiarise themselves with options should they be facing the sort of strike that is heading our way.
New rules aimed at ending strikes for good: https://hr-24.co.uk/industry-news/new-rules-aimed-at-ending-strikes-for-good
Solution to strikes: https://hr-24.co.uk/industry-news/solution-strikes