Flood hit hotel and restaurant businesses which have cut staff working hours or temporarily laid off workers have been warned that employees can claim full redundancy payments after just four weeks.
According to Julian Yew, head of the hotel and leisure group at Wedlake Bell, customer facing operations such as hospitality could be some of the worst affected.
"The nature of the hotel and leisure business often means that staff are assigned on a rota basis," he said. "Because this is a more flexible approach than other businesses who are strictly nine-to-five, this may lead employers wrongly to assume that they can simply ask staff to work fewer hours or lay them off temporarily. However, they need to check carefully that they are contractually allowed to do this beforehand."
Yew added that employers should "seriously think" about any other way staff can be put to good use, such as sending them to another branch or helping get the business back up and running.
"While they may save money in the short-term, it could cost them dear in the longer run if they lose valuable members of their team and have to make substantial redundancy payments," he said.
By Helen Gilbert
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