Acas flooded with calls over foot and mouth outbreak

Worried
employers and employees have flooded Acas public enquiry points with more than
500 calls about the foot and mouth outbreak.

Currently
there are 32 cases across the country, with Essex and Devon being hardest hit
with five cases each.

Acas
has urged employers to follow the guidelines of their advice leaflet Lay offs and short-time working because
there is no legislation to cover the situation where an employee is willing to
work but cannot physically attend work.

Employers
can lay-off, or introduce short time working if the employment contracts allows
for this or if there is a clearly established custom and practice for lay-offs
or short time working either in the particular workplace or within the
industry.

Derek
Evans, Acas chief conciliator, commented, “We have had many employers asking us
whether they can lay staff off because of the lack of work as well as employees
worried they may be dismissed if they can’t make the journey to work due to
exclusion zones.”

www.acas.org.uk

By
Paul Nelson

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