The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Severe weather and the resultant travel chaos or travel disruption caused by industrial action or major incidents can affect employees’ ability to get to work on time, or in some cases, at all.
Employers need to consider how to deal with the possibility of staff absence caused by adverse weather and travel disruption, and how to maintain business continuity, particularly if a considerable number of employees are absent at the same time.
Severe weather which makes travelling hazardous or impossible might include:
hurricanes and strong winds
snow or very low temperatures
heavy rainfall causing widespread flooding
Disruption to travel can be caused by events such as:
industrial action (eg strikes on the London Underground, buses, DLR, by airport luggage handlers)
the closure of a major route for a period of time (eg road and rail repairs)
a major incident affecting transport or public safety (eg security lockdowns or terror alerts)
Trade unions have a legal obligation to give at least 14 days’ notice of industrial action (or seven days if the employer and union agree). Employers and employees will therefore have advance notice of any potential travel disruption due to industrial action. This time should be used to plan any appropriate contingency arrangements, such as allowing staff to work from home or agreeing flexible working hours for the duration of the strike.
For further information, see Practice Note:
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