London Underground Strike - Should I pay employees who are unable to attend work?

Alan Price – CEO at BrightHR

August 04 2015

With a possible London Underground strike pending I thought I would advise on wherever employees should be paid when they are unable to attend work. Naturally most employees will make every effort to attend work however let me clarify. If your employees either cannot get to work, or are late because of the tube strike, there is no legal requirement to pay them for the missed time, provided that your workplace is open for business. Why would you pay staff for not being at work? Although it may seem a little harsh because their absence isn’t their fault, it is the employee’s responsibility – and will almost certainly be an agreed contractual term - to get to work on time, whatever the circumstances. Contracts should be checked just in case there is a prior agreement for pay in these circumstances. Many workplaces in and around London operate a flexi-time policy in which case employees will not be affected. However, where this is not possible, you could arrange with them to cover the time in some way e.g. taking some banked lieu time; working the time back; annual leave etc in order to maintain the employees’ pay. If the employee can work from home, this may be another option. So if you are in any doubt on the issue then call the Peninsula Advice Service who can provide advice and guidance on the issue - 0844 892 2772. 

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