You may have situations over Christmas and the coming Winter months where employees cannot make it into work as planned, how do you deal with these unplanned absences and are you ready for them in advance.

The unplanned absences might be due to bad weather or due to strike action that has impacted their journey and you need to be clear about what your approach is before the event.

Let us focus on the strike action, this could be rail, tube or coming back from Christmas or Ski ing holidays with baggage handlers impacting your employees journey or return to home.

Firstly, please do realise that the employee is probably just as frustrated as you are, they may be stuck on the platform or stuck in an airport thinking they should be having a straightforward journey.

The next is to be flexible and consistent with all your employees.

One client in London has been impacted by the Southern Rail strikes over the past months, it had coincided with the business introducing Skype for Business, so the business ensured that all meetings included a skype option for all employees. The approach they also took was to be flexible with employees on their start and finish times or arranged with employees to work from home on strike days in advance, employees appreciated this approach so they were not worrying about how to get into work. This flexible approach has been appreciated by all employees.

In the coming Winter months, there may be situations with bad weather or further strikes may impact your employees and their journey into the workplace, just remember to treat everyone the same and be as flexible as you can with the situation. Use the technology you have available to support flexible working and do not get hung up on whether employees actually need to be in the office, discuss with them a working from home arrangement in advance.

If you would like further advice on how to deal with any unplanned absences, then please contact us at KJ HR Consulting.