Teachers’ strikes in October – how could they impact your business?

Earlier this month the two teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT, announced dates for regional strikes across England in October.

On 1st October the Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside and Eastern regions are being targeted for action. On 17th October the North East, Cumbria, London, South East and South West will be affected by the strike. Depending upon how Michael Gove and the government react, the unions are also considering an additional one-day, all-out national strike before Christmas.

How might this affect your business? Theresa Mimnagh, Associate Director at Lawspeed said: “Recruiters cannot supply individuals to replace teachers who are on strike as Regulation 7 of the Conduct Regulations 2003 prevents an employment business from supplying staff to cover official industrial action. 

“But if schools close the teachers’ strike could affect your own internal staff with children. There are a number of options for employees and your responsibilities towards those staff.”

  • Permit flexible arrangements or working from home – a little bit of flexibility can go a long way in terms of staff morale and loyalty
  • All employees have a right to time off to care for dependents or deal with emergencies, however this would be unpaid
  • The employee could use a days’ annual leave – this could be the most straightforward option but it depends upon (a) holiday being possible within the business and (b) the employee having holiday entitlement left
  • The employee may be tempted to take the day off sick but unless they are genuinely ill on that day this would not be true. This would be disruptive to the business and could result in disciplinary action against the parent for ‘pulling a sickie’
  • The employee could ask to bring the child into work but depending upon the size of your office and the age of the children this is probably not ideal for most organisations

As with most employment matters, planning ahead and discussing options with your staff in advance of any anticipated disruption is always recommended.

Lawspeed provides advice on all employment matters and Conduct Regulations requirements. Call today on 01273 236 236 or email [email protected]

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