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Absenteeism & What To Do About It

Published 10 Aug 2011

(Snowbound, Pandemics, Floods, Earthquakes and the like)

Where employees are unable to attend work for reasons outside their control - such as the snowbound employees during August - employers have several options available.

The first step to take is to refer to the employment agreement which may refer to circumstances outside the control of the employer and the employee. Employers are looking for clauses which may obligate them to pay employees under such circumstances.

The key to special circumstances of this nature is in open, frank and direct consultation but - assuming the employment agreement is silent on what should happen - the following guidelines will assist.

Generally, employees who cannot turn up for work cannot expect to be paid. Generally employees who can turn up for work but the workplace is closed by the employer can expect to be paid. Employee/employer consultation should include the taking of annual holidays, alternative holidays, sick leave etc. Employers will need to check notice periods in the employment agreements.

Before cancelling normal payment for the time in question please contact EAL (0800 15 8000)