Lack of Fuel

Help my employee is stuck because they can’t fill their car up and can’t get into work

The current petrol disruption has put great strain on employees ability to get to work and in some cases to carry out their normal duties. At present it is unclear when this situation will be resolved. If you are an employer how should you approach this extraordinary situation?

There are certain obligations both on the employee and employer. The employee should make every effort to contact the employer to explain their predicament and to indicate as best they can when they are likely to be able to resume work. In these circumstances contact can be made by phone, email or text message. For small organisations absence of key employees can have a devastating effect especially if the absence is prolonged and unplanned stopping the employer from taking contingency action to cover the absence.

If the employee fails to make any sort of contact the employer can think about treating this as an unauthorised absence

An employer can always decide to exercise its discretion and take a pragmatic approach and pay employees for some or all of the days they cannot make it into work where their absence is beyond their control.

However, you must ensure all employees are treated in the same manner
A sensible way to approach this it to ask the employee to work from home where they can, take additional holiday or take the extra days as unpaid leave or if that is not possible put together a practical solution to allow the employee to make up the extra time by say unpaid overtime over a period i.e. if they can’t resume work for 5 days and a normal working day is 8 hours then they work 1 extra unpaid hour for the next 40 days messy but fair.

These events regrettably seem to becoming more common there are issues which may unavoidably delay employees return

Employers should review their holiday policies and make sure they are updated to cover these contingencies and to communicate to all employees what is expected in these circumstances and how the employees should act. Existing contracts should updated every 3 years anyway and this should be included in the next update.
For help in developing and updated policy and contractual amendments contact me

M. Newman