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Volcanic Ash - a good reason for an extended holiday?

19 April 2010 #Employment

Lots of people are currently enjoying an extended holiday thanks to the effect volcanic ash has had on flights in and out of the country.   However, the problem raises various issues for employers regarding holiday and pay.

The situation is similar to the disruption caused by the snow when employees were stuck at home -  except it is very unlikely that staff will be in a position to work in Malaga Airport, or on a beach in Thailand

Ideally employers should have a policy setting out what happens in the event of unforeseen absences.   That way all employees will know the situation in advance and there won`t be any nasty surprises or disagreements on an employee`s return. 

If an employee cannot get into work because of a delayed flight an employer cannot generally deduct pay.  This is likely to be an unathorised deduction from wages if done without consent.  Instead staff can be required to use their annual leave entitlement to cover the extended holiday, or required to take unpaid leave.

If in any doubt about the genuineness of the absence, employers may ask to see flight details and ask staff what efforts they made to try and get home.  I undertand the ferries and trains are doing a roaring trade at the moment!

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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