As a working mother, I am hearing lots of stories of friends and teachers stuck at a wide variety of holiday destinations unable to return to school.
The current travel ban is affecting everyone, but how are employers coping?
There are several issues to consider as an employer:
~ Firstly, the impact of having employees absent from work as they were on holiday and are now stuck, and
~ secondly, the impact on business of having employees unable to travel to meet with clients, attend training, attend meetings etc. or to return to the office from such meetings.
So how are employers coping?
Well the second issue is perhaps the easiest to deal with. With the increase in technology, people have laptops, internet access, skype, instant messaging, smart phones etc. and it is now easier than ever to stay in touch with people, or work remotely.
The first issue is a little more complex.
~ Employees are not likely to have taken their laptop on holiday with them, therefore they have no way to work remotely.
~ Some employees may not need a laptop for work as their role involves face to face contact with the customer i.e. in a retail environment.
~ If they are on annual leave, do you continue to pay them?
~ Do you deduct absence days from their annual leave entitlement? and what happens if they haven’t got enough?
The answers to these questions will vary significantly between businesses and there is no right or wrong answer. There are however, some key issues which must be considered when taking decisions on how to treat these employees:
~ Firstly, you need to be aware of discrimination. Treat all employees consistently. Ideally you will have a business continuity policy and procedure and this should provide you with a framework for handling such situations.
~ Secondly, clearly communicate what you are intending to do and how it will be done. This reduces fear and panic among the workers, especially those who are stuck back in the office, not knowing what to do.
To get more assistance with ensuring the risk to your business is minimised, please contact us on 01923 504100 or via our website at www.dohr.co.uk