The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has issued guidance for employers and employees on coping with the effects of the riots which have recently erupted in London and in other major cities across the UK.
The focus of the advice is on minimising the disruption to business activity. The prinicpal points are that employers and employees should:
- keep in touch with each other – if you can't get to work, try to get in touch with your employer to let them know. If your business has been damaged, contact your employees to discuss work arrangements;
- be flexible about working hours and location, perhaps using smartphones and laptops to help you keep working where possible; and
- be fair – as an employer, try to take into account the circumstances surrounding absence or timekeeping issues before deciding on the action you might take in terms of leave and pay.
Although many people may not be aware of this, employees are not entitled to be paid for time they are unable to work because of travel disruptions. Employers also have the right to decide when an employee must take statutory holiday entitlement, although they must give the employee notice of at least twice the length of holiday the employee is expected to take.