January 5th, 2017 / Insight posted in Blog

How to manage the impact of train strikes on your business

Train strikes can be disruptive to organisations when employees find it difficult getting into the office on time, or even at all during periods of industrial action. Preparing in advance for these eventualities can reduce the impact on your business.

The first step could be introducing a ‘journey to work’ policy. When implementing a policy, ensure you get the balance right between being fair to employees and maintaining business operations.

It is the responsibility of the employee to get to their place of work and if an employee is not able to get to the office due to train strikes, legally you do not have to pay them. However, employers are encouraged to take a flexible approach, allowing the employee to take the day as part of their holiday entitlement or if possible by allowing them to work from home.

Train strikes are very likely to be pre-arranged and therefore, employees should make their employer aware of any difficulties they may face prior to the affected date and if possible, make alternative transport arrangements.

As above, having a policy in place reduces any potential confusion if communicated clearly in advance to staff.

Consider how you will treat absences or lateness due to transport disruptions. Will employees be required to make up the time? Will you allow them to take annual leave?

If arranged in advance, could you allow for home working or perhaps you have other office locations which would be more accessible to some staff members. If so, is there enough desk space to accommodate the additional headcount?

As with anything, it is important to treat all employees across the business fairly and consistently to avoid any risk of discrimination claims.