If staff take part in today’s global climate change strike here's what businesses can do
By Andrew Merrell | 20th September 2019
Some will be aware that today is the subject to a call for a national strike in relation to climate change.
We do not anticipate noticeable disruption, but employers should note the following.
This should not be confused with official strike action, and although it is supported by some trade unions, it is not official strike action.
In the unlikely event that as an employer you are faced with staff not turning up and declaring it strike action for today, you are free to take any of the following steps:
1. Treat it as unauthorised absence, and refuse to pay for today and consider disciplinary action, or...
2. Pay it if you wish
3. Allow staff to take it as holiday if they wish.
It is very much up to you.
What you should not do is treat it as sickness, and count it as a day of waiting for the purposes of SSP.
Normal official strike action is governed by very strict rules, and an employer should never treat an employee to their detriment for taking part in such official strike action. However, this is NOT such action and the employer has complete discretion over how to respond.
Darren Sherborne is a director and head of employment at Cheltenham-based law firm Sherborne's Solicitors Ltd.
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