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Q: To what extent should I take into account industrial action on the railways when dealing with lateness?
A: In case of industrial action affecting the means of transport, employees should take all reasonable steps to make alternative arrangements to get to work. This might require them to leave home a little earlier in order to reach work on time. If they do this then you should not penalise them if they still arrive late. If they do not make serious efforts to overcome the problem then you would be entitled to penalise them.
When considering what they might do, you should take into account where people live, the availability of alternative transport and, critically, their ability to make use of it. You could, for example expect a young and fit employee to walk two miles, but not an elderly or unfit person. Make this clear to your employees and emphasise it if the likelihood of industrial action arises.
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