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What will energy blackouts mean for employers

With the National Grid warning of power blackouts on ‘really, really cold” days this winter, what do businesses need to consider with regards their employees.

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Published 24 October 2022

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  • Business
  • Services
  • Employment law for employers

From an employment perspective, there remains a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers and to maintain a comfortable working environment. Employers may need to have contingency plans in the event of power blackouts.

It could mean many will be unable to carry out their usual roles if their places of work are affected or if they cannot work from home. Subject to their employment contract, if an employee cannot work due to energy blackouts the employer will need to continue paying them as usual.

Preparatory steps that can be taken include investment in generators or other alternative power supplies, acquiring portable heaters and reconfiguring workplaces to make them more energy efficient. If a safe working environment cannot be maintained then staff may need to remain at home, working remotely where possible.

The pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons on how to cope in a crisis and businesses are likely to have more notice of impending power cuts than they did before going into the first lockdown.

Practical steps could include asking staff to keep their mobiles and laptops fully charged immediately before a blackout to minimise disruption and being flexible about working hours to meet the needs of the business whilst respecting downtime and family friendly policies.

For more information, visit our Employment page.

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Shorter Reads

What will energy blackouts mean for employers

With the National Grid warning of power blackouts on ‘really, really cold” days this winter, what do businesses need to consider with regards their employees.

Published 24 October 2022

Associated sectors / services

Authors

From an employment perspective, there remains a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers and to maintain a comfortable working environment. Employers may need to have contingency plans in the event of power blackouts.

It could mean many will be unable to carry out their usual roles if their places of work are affected or if they cannot work from home. Subject to their employment contract, if an employee cannot work due to energy blackouts the employer will need to continue paying them as usual.

Preparatory steps that can be taken include investment in generators or other alternative power supplies, acquiring portable heaters and reconfiguring workplaces to make them more energy efficient. If a safe working environment cannot be maintained then staff may need to remain at home, working remotely where possible.

The pandemic has taught us some valuable lessons on how to cope in a crisis and businesses are likely to have more notice of impending power cuts than they did before going into the first lockdown.

Practical steps could include asking staff to keep their mobiles and laptops fully charged immediately before a blackout to minimise disruption and being flexible about working hours to meet the needs of the business whilst respecting downtime and family friendly policies.

For more information, visit our Employment page.

Associated sectors / services

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