Could the current fuel shortage prevent employees from attending work?
Getting to work on time is an employee’s responsibility. But when there’s a national crisis, like the current fuel shortages, what can employers do to support their employee’s during this interim period?
Many employees use their own car to travel to work. And ordinarily, whether you’ll be able to fuel your car in order to make the journey, isn’t something that crosses your mind. However, petrol stations across the UK are the latest to be hit by HGV driver shortages. This has led to long queues outside forecourts as panic buying drained the majority of the country’s 8,000 petrol stations.
So, how can employers support their staff during this temporary situation?
Working from home
Because of the covid-19 pandemic, most organisations have now adopted working from home practices, with hybrid working becoming the new normal. This can be extended during the current fuel crisis, to help employees who rely on their car, to work flexibly during this period.
It may be that if you have employees who make client or on-site visits, this can be done remotely again using Teams or Zoom. Employers could make it clear that this is a short-term solution until the national fuel shortages and panic buying subsides, and the situation returns to some kind of normal.
Some roles cannot be carried out from home so it may be prudent for HR to come up with a plan to promote a car sharing scheme. Employees share the responsibility to drive each other to work and consequently save fuel.
Take Public Transport
Where possible, employers should encourage employees to use public transport.
Cycle to work
Encouraging cycle to work schemes provides another alternative solution. It also supports employees in making new lifestyle choices that help them to get fit in the process.
To summarise, it’s important that employers communicate with their workforce on what is expected of them and take a flexible, fair and consistent approach to this temporary situation.