Protocols to adopt when employers face circumstances beyond their control

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Employers have a duty of care towards their employees which applies at all times. Obviously whilst employers can generally control what happens within their workplace, there are other forces which are outside of their control e.g. acts of terrorism. There are some measures that employers can take, however, to put themselves and their employees in the best position. We have received calls from employers who regularly do business in London, asking what they can do to safeguard employees who travel there. Some may consider the football match between England and France in London tonight as a potential threat hotspot. The current threat level in the UK, although not having been increased in light of the recent terror attacks in Paris, stands at ‘severe’. Firstly, carry out a risk assessment of where your highest exposure lies. Where employees are travelling into London, consider whether these trips can be postponed, or whether they can be carried out by other means e.g. Skype. If travel into London is required, ensure that employees are aware of any plans you put into place should they be caught up in an attack. This plan should deal with the maintenance of their communication with you should anything happen, or what they should do if communication channels are unavailable. The most important thing is to communicate with your employees. If there is a heightened state of emotions, acknowledge this but do not encourage panic. Talk to your management team so that you can build a consistent response to any questions that might be asked. Importantly, do not allow negative behaviour towards other colleagues, or scaremongering. For more information, please call our Advice Service on 0800 028 2420.

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