Last month hundreds of businesses were affected by the various disruptions caused by Northern Rail, not only were employees not able to get to work but customers weren’t able to get to businesses.
While the compensation packages for those affected by the services have yet to be announced, it is telling that Northern Rail have also recognised the significant cost to firms throughout this period. As an employer, there are several ways you can handle such disruptions and it’s important that you are aware of them should you be affected by any future disruptions.
If it is the case that your business is closed due to travel disruptions or weather conditions, then you’re unlikely to be able to deduct pay. Again, you are able to request that flexible workers should work from home or alternatively another workplace if available and accessible.
Another thing to consider is the knock-on effect this could have with children and the school run. Your employees do have the right to request time-off for emergencies, if usual childcare arrangements have been disrupted. This would normally be laid out in the Employee Handbook and would usually result in unpaid leave for the appropriate period.
While it may seem unnecessary to have to inform employees of company travel policy in the staff handbook, Northern Rail has highlighted the potential damage it can do to your business should travel disruptions catch you off guard. Ensure that you have planned thoroughly for staff travelling to work and keep a record of those members of staff who are able to work at home if necessary.