We have all seen the disruption caused by the petrol panic and regardless of whether you think its due to a shortage of fuel, a logistical dilemma or a symptom of panic buying, the outcome is the same.

Some staff are affected by travel disruption because they are unable to get fuel or due to the congestion caused by queues to petrol stations.

So what can you do if your staff are unable to get to work?

Remote Working

The good news is that over the last 2 years many businesses have proved how adaptable they are and so lots of businesses now have the equipment and measures in place to allow staff to work from home. If you are able to allow staff to work remotely during this period, then this may be the option for you.

Carpooling

You will pleased to know that there is no requirement to sing karaoke like James Cordon but car sharing could help with the fuel dilemma. It may save on costs if staff share a lift and it’s better for the environment. You could offer incentives to staff who car share such as a free lunch or voucher. Of course we are aware that Covid19 is not over yet so we would suggest good cleaning and optional mask wearing to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Change Working Hours

This won’t help staff to get fuel but it could mean they are able to travel when there is less traffic on the roads. This will help with fuel consumption and ease the frustration of sitting in traffic.

Allow Annual Leave

If home working is not an option then consider allowing staff to take some annual leave or toil. You can also insist of staff using annual leave but employers should be mindful that they need to give twice as much notice as the leave that they want staff to take. EG, two days notice = one days annual leave or four days notice = two days annual leave.

If there is no annual leave available then you might want to allow staff to take unpaid leave.

I need to close my business due to staff shortages do I have to pay them?

As long as employees are willing and able to work then you will have to pay them even if you have been forced to close. The key being able and willing so those staff who are unable to come to work will not get paid.

You might not have to pay staff when you close if:

*You have the contractual option of lay-off (see our other blogs for more information)

*You have given staff notice to take annual leave

* Staff have agreed to take unpaid leave.

Where can I get more information?

The information in this blog is general guidance and not intended to be used as advice. If you need specific advice or you want to be sure that you are doing the right thing then contact us at info@orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk or visit our website at http://www.orchardemploymentlaw.co.uk

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