‘Tis the Season of more disruption?

Seasonal Disruption

Most of us are back at work, although for some there will have been no let up in the run up to Christmas and the New Year. Travel just prior to Christmas was a nightmare in the South East and more strikes are planned threatening further disruption for businesses as we head into 2017.

Whilst many employees have been struggling in to work despite the disruption, you may have some employees who have not done so and/or you may be looking at other options open to you to help manage the situation.

In extreme cases employees have lost their jobs by failing to turn up for work but if this is something you are considering our advice is to think twice and to ensure that you follow a fair disciplinary procedure.

Some businesses have put people up in hotels to avoid wasted travel time and delay, while others have made arrangement for employees to work from home.

You may have overlooked the option of requiring employees to take annual leave on strike days – given that we have had notice of when they are going to be this may well be a practical solution if your business can sustain the absences.

So far the winter has been mild but there is the risk of further disruption if adverse weather hits.

For many businesses it is worth putting an ‘adverse weather’ or ‘journey into work’ policy into place that deals with the steps employees are required to take to try to get into work on time and how the business will continue if they cannot.

You can then decide how to deal with lateness and what will happen with regard to pay. You can put in place guidance for employees in the event that, for example, schools are closed or there is heavy snow. You can include rules about who to contact and when and obligations regarding handing over tasks, cancelling meetings and/or working from home.

Once employees know what is expected of them there is much less scope for confusion and disagreement – or for any of them trying it on!

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