For some employees travelling to work will be a problem during the Olympics. Transport disruption in the capital is likely to have the biggest impact on businesses, with over 3 million extra journeys a day expected in London on the busiest days. Transport for London has also announced the closure of major roads and the enforcement of new parking restrictions throughout the capital. In addition, numerous roads will close for events such as the road cycling triathlon marathon and race walking events.
Employers should plan now to deal with employees who have difficulty getting to and from work during the Games. Employers may consider allowing staff to swap their shifts with people who are not affected , work flexible hours which could involve varied start times and finish times or where possible, to work from home or perhaps at a different office location, if the employee is happy to do this.
Alternatively, where the needs of the business are not compromised and providing the employer gives the specified notice to the employees, the employer could require them to take paid annual leave from their holiday entitlement for some or all of the disruption of the Games.
Employers can insist that employees follow company procedures for notifying travel disruption.
Unless the employment contract specifies otherwise, employers are not in principle required to pay employees if they are unable to attend work due to travel disruption. However, be aware that workers have legal protection against deductions from their pay and so employers should check the contract terms and/or any policies in place before deducting pay. Employers could offer that employees time out of their annual leave or that they make up the lost hours at a later date.
Ultimately, good contingency planning and the communication of policies are crucial to ensure that businesses are equipped to deal with any unexpected difficulties and can enjoy this very special occasion.
For more information or advice on this, please contact us on 01483 303636.