The recent eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull
and the subsequent travel disruption caused by the millions of tons
of volcanic ash it released into the atmosphere has highlighted a
difficult employment law situation.
Many thousands of employees were left stranded abroad as a
result of the closure of UK airspace following the volcano's
eruption, and this had a significant impact on many British
So what are the legal implications of such a situation for
employers? The case is similar to that which employers faced
earlier this year, when severe snow storms left many roads
impassable and a significant number of employees were unable to
travel to work. In these circumstances, workers are not entitled to
be paid for their absence, even though they are not at fault.
Employees can be given the option of either using some of their
holiday entitlement to cover their absence or taking unpaid leave
for the period they are unable to get to work. However, some
employers elect to pay absent employees in such circumstances as a
gesture of goodwill. Notably, Asda has taken this option as a
Although it is inconvenient and frustrating for employers to
lose key staff members during such periods of disruption, as the
circumstances are beyond the employee's control, disciplinary
action should not be taken.
However, if a worker does not inform their employer of the
reason for their absence and fails to keep them updated on their
circumstances throughout their absence, they may be in breach of
the Absence Reporting Procedure, which could result in disciplinary
action being taken.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Everyone has sympathy for employees who are genuinely unwell. When advising employers about employees suffering from stress, various medical conditions and resultant absence, it is these words that come up again and again.
In our article published in HR Zone, we consider the introduction of the new rules on regulatory references which come into force on 7 March 2017 and the practical steps that employers must take to comply...
Most of us know the difference between being employed and being self-employed (or at least we think we do). And in everyday laymen's terms, the difference is relatively straightforward and obvious – if you are employed, you work for someone else and, if you are self-employed, you ‘work for yourself'.
This coming year looks to be another busy one with more significant employment law changes coming into force and we have highlighted some of the key changes, which range from the introduction of gender pay...
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).