There have been all manner of problems surrounding travel this summer, with cancellations on British Airways flights and on train journeys in the Channel Tunnel. There is also the threat of Ryanair pilots striking over the next few weeks.
The big question for employers is how do these travel issues affect employees' rights regarding pay? What happens if your employees are caught up abroad and don’t come back to work until after their annual leave?
Do I Have to Pay My Employees?
If your employee is unfortunate enough to get stuck abroad due to travel disruptions, you are not required to pay them if they cannot return to work due to these cancelled flights etc. The employee should, if possible, keep you updated as to what is happening so you know not to expect them in to work so you can make the suitable arrangements for their work to be covered. After their return, you can then discuss with the employee how this extended time off is going to be dealt with.
How Can I Recover the Lost Time?
The options available to you are:
- Ask the employee if they want to take additional annual leave for all or part of the additional time they will be off. You cannot force them to do this or they may not have enough leave remaining.
- Pay the employee in full but give them the option of making up these hours once they return.
- Pay the employee but give them the option of working from their destination.
- Unpaid leave.
Are There Are Exceptions?
The only exception to the advice above is if the employee is on a business trip, then they should be paid as normal. In fact the business should also cover any additional expenses they incur such as food, drink and accommodation as a result of the delayed travel.
If you wish to discuss any cases that are of similar nature or further employee matters, contact our exceptional employment team at Howells to speak to a member of the team.