Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Prepare for Public Sector strikes, says expert

Tomorrow will see the UK facing one of the biggest public sector strikes in several decades, as 2 million public sector employees walk out over cuts to pensions packages.

As well as causing mass disruptions to public transport, aviation and local public services, the strike will also hit businesses in the region - especially those who have failed to adequately prepare for the disruptions.

Neil Stephenson, chief executive officer of the Onyx Group is now calling on other companies in the region to ensure they have a contingency plan in place to ensure that business can run as smoothly as possible.

“Directors have a duty of care to their employees to ensure they can come to their place of work easily and safely, and if not they should have an effective plan to facilitate home working.

“Equally businesses which require office space and equipment such as call centres should consider relocating to a central location.”

As schools across the UK will also be closed on Wednesday, the Prime Minister has suggested that businesspeople take their children to work. While this might seem like a good idea, this could place an onerous burden on business owners.

“This would be great in theory, but in practice would come with a legal burden on employers,” he continued. “They have an obligation to ensure their workers are in a safe environment, and by introducing children into the workplace, this could bring a whole host of issues to the fore.”

Many businesses will not have made plans for the strikes, and while Neil accepts that the action will be an enormous nuisance for many businesses, there is no excuse for lack of preparation.

“This is the last thing that businesses want in the current economic climate, and could have serious knock on effects,” he concluded. “But businesses must consider how they can ensure availability of products to their customers, and the repercussions of not doing so.

“Every business should have a contingency plan, whether it be for strikes, snow, ash clouds or the Olympics next year - they much consider everything.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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