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Problems with Petrol??

We have all heard various excuses from employees for not being able to get into work.  For me the best I’ve ever heard was from an employee who couldn’t attend because they “didn’t have a clean pair of jeans”.  Until a few days ago, the excuse that “I’ve no petrol and there is nowhere to buy it” would have ranked up there as an implausible excuse – but, the world is changing pretty quickly these days.

With the current fuel crisis employers should be mindful of the genuine constraints being faced by their employees. Being open minded and considering options to ease the pressure on employee whist the situation continues will be important, after all the crisis is not the fault of the employee base.  There are many options employers could consider to ease pressure on employees over the coming days, for example carpooling, working from home, attending meetings via video call, core hour changes around public transport timetables, to name a few.  Lesson from the pandemic have shown us we can adapt quickly and hence it is important for employers to keep dialogue open with employees to alleviate some of the genuine concerns people are facing.

For employers who need people to drive for their business, limited access to fuel will be of a greater concern.  In these scenarios, where work is not available employers could consider utilising contractual lay off clauses to get them through the coming days at a reduced labour cost to the business.  For employers without the luxury of theses clauses, other short term options include enforced holiday (on double the notice to days taken), agreeing unpaid leave, voluntary holiday or discussing a reallocation of reasonable duties in the short term.

If your business is impacted by employment issues stemming from the fuel crisis, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert employment law team for a free consultation on your options

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