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UK Fuel crisis: How to support your employees

Written by Laura Kearsley on Thursday, 30 September 2021. Posted in Leadership, People

It’s been almost a week since petrol panic buying started in the UK, with employees across the country struggling to refuel and travel to work.

UK Fuel crisis: How to support your employees

It’s been almost a week since petrol panic buying started in the UK, with employees across the country struggling to refuel and travel to work.

The crisis follows the leaked concerns of a BP executive, who stated that they were worried about how the lorry driver shortage could impact its ability to keep up with fuel deliveries. The resulting surge in demand led the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) to publish that, by Sunday, two-thirds of its membership of outlets, totalling nearly 5,500 were out of fuel, with the rest of them on the verge of “running out soon” as well.  

While the government has said that the issue is “stabilising”, with spend limits already in place at many stations and soldiers enlisted to help deliver fuel in the coming days, it’s likely people will continue to be affected. As a result, many of the country’s workers may be caught out and struggle to travel to work – particularly if they have a lengthy commute.

Communication is key

As an employer, it’s crucial to maintain an open dialogue with your workers to be able to find the best possible outcome for those who are affected by the crisis. The simplest solution would be to encourage employees to revert to working from home if they are able to do so. 

However, this may not be feasible for all, therefore, as an employer you may want to consider alternative ways you can support your employees. For example, do any of your workers live within a close enough distance of each other to be able to car pool if one person has plenty of petrol? Or, is there a public transport alternative that you could assist your employee in navigating?

Take a flexible approach

Something else that’s worth bearing in mind is if your employees need to travel for work – whether that’s for meetings, pitches or deliveries. In this scenario, I would advise you look through these journeys and work out whether any can be reorganised or minimised – or completed using public transport or via video conferencing software instead.

While there will be no ‘one size fits all’ approach, the need for good communication will inevitably be the key in ensuring your employees feel supported during this extraordinary time.

About the Author

Laura Kearsley

Laura Kearsley

Laura Kearsley qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and joined Nelsons’ Leicester office in 2012. As a partner and head of the team, she has a strong reputation in all aspects of employment law and has particular experience in developing HR support services for businesses.

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