The air travel surge prior to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend put additional strain on a travel system that had already seen extensive delays and queues at airports.  Increased traveller numbers (among other things) has lead to several flight and holiday cancellations.

The knock on effect of these cancellations are now being felt by holiday makers making their return journeys to the UK.  Many of those who are stranded or delayed abroad wont be able to return to work as normal – so how can employers respond to the situation?

Firstly, affected employees should follow the company’s normal absence reporting procedure (daily if required) so that employers are aware of the absence (and why) and can make provision for cover etc within the business.

Employers may choose to treat the absence in a number of ways:

  • Allow the extra days to be taken as holiday from their annual leave entitlement (if any are available)
  • Allow the additional days to be taken as unpaid leave
  • Allow the additional days to be taken as additional discretional leave if provision exists within the structure of the business
  • Consider the days as absent without leave (and pay) and consider a disciplinary sanction

While these situations may be disruptive to businesses, good employers will act sympathetically, given the unusual circumstances.  Treating it as a disciplinary matter is likely to have a negative effect on employee relations – as well as which, such action may be looked at unfavourably by an Employment Tribunal.

Pennine HR provides specialist outsourced HR Support for businesses across the North of England which is delivered by a CIPD qualified team with real life business management experience.  Call us on 01484 841776 or drop us a line info@penninehr.co.uk to find out how we can help your business grow and thrive.