• Leadership
  • People
  • Workplace

How Should Employers Respond To Strikes?

  • Helina Robbins
  • July 25th, 2022

Travel disruption is expected in the next few weeks.

Train strikes are due for the end of July and middle of August due to rows over jobs, conditions, and pay.

In the August strikes alone, 40,000 workers across Network Rail are expected to walk out.

With trains being a popular mode of transport for workers, significant disruption will be inevitable for employees.

What can be done to mitigate disruption in the workplace?


The Rules:

In the UK, if an employee can’t get into work due to rail strikes and their workplace is open, there is no legal obligation for employers to pay them. It is an employee’s responsibility when it comes to getting to and from work every day.

This will be a worry for many individuals, particularly with the current cost of living crisis.

So, how should employers respond to strikes?


Preparation is Key 🗝️

When train strikes are planned, it is important that employers try to plan and prepare for them and their disruption as much possible beforehand.

You need time to identify who is likely to be affected by the strikes and discuss one on one what their plans are for commuting to work on that day. This will help you see who will be most affected by the strikes to plan next steps.



Be Flexible Where Possible 💡

 Be open to alternative working arrangements and consider…

  • Could your employee work from home?
  • Could they take the day as holiday or unpaid leave?
  • Could they work longer hours on other days to make up lost time?
  • Could they come in later or leave earlier?
  • If necessary, could taxis or minibuses be arranged for employees?


There are a multitude of ways employers can be flexible with their employees in response to train strikes, however, their preparation is key. Time to plan these arrangements is needed if they are to run as smoothly as possible.


Have a Travel Disruption Policy 📄

Dealing with uncertainty can bring on anxiety and, in the current cost of living crisis, clarity on what will happen in the event of a strike will keep your employees’ minds at ease. Employers should decide on the steps their organisation will take in response to future disruptions to reassure employees that they won’t be left in the dark when strikes are announced.


Overall, strikes will be disruptive, but the level of their disruption can be reduced


Disruption to travel is inevitably going to be a challenge to navigate for both employers and employees. But, by taking precautions and being open to flexibility, employers can help to ensure that disruption has as little effect as possible.



Next up 👉 6 Tips for Working in Hot Weather


Want to read more content like this? Sign up to the Yellow Bricks Newsletter


Yellow Bricks is a female-led Executive Search Recruitment company hiring exceptional people at a senior level for scaling organisations. Working with seed through to FTSE 50 organisations, we hire interim and permanent staff to deliver our global clients with talent they need to reach their milestones. Find out more.

  • executive search
  • train strikes
  • train strikes uk
  • travel disruption