Employers varied response to ash cloud disruption
A recent survey commissioned by recruiters Badenoch & Clark revealed that 43% of employees affected by the ash cloud travel restrictions saw their pay docked or their annual leave entitlement diminish.
A quarter (24%) of employers allowed their staff to work remotely, whilst a third (32%) were generous enough to allow staff to take the time as additional leave.
The Icelandic ash cloud caused widespread chaos, with hundreds of flights across Europe cancelled. With experts warning the volcano could continue to erupt for as long as a two year period, both employees and employers are left in limbo on how to deal with travel delays and the subsequent absenteeism from work.
Andy Powell, Director at Badenoch & Clark, comments: “With no end in sight on potential travel restrictions due to the ash cloud, people are left feeling as if they’re taking a gamble when embarking on their summer holidays and employers are put in an awkward situation.
“Employers cannot be expected to give out additional paid leave because of acts of God; however, it is important for employers to set a standard policy on this, so that everyone understands the consequences of any delays returning to work.
“While remote working is a good solution in some cases, for many people it will not be a viable option. As such, although ensuring you are contactable by mobile or smart phone where possible is a sensible precaution, both employers and employees need to understand that the risk of disruption should be shared.”
Employers requiring advice or assistance on how to draft a policy, or manage any unplanned absences, should contact Employment Law Clinic for help in their business.