Posted Date: 16th November 2022

The Government recently warned the general public that there could be temporary energy blackout, due to a shortage of energy supplies in the UK. Businesses and households would receive a minimum of one days’ notice and the blackout would last no longer than 3 hours, between the hours of 4pm and 7pm. Blackouts would be rotated, so different areas would be affected on different days, and priority businesses such as hospitals would be excluded.

However, this is a worse case situation and is unlikely.

But it is still advisable to prepare a contingency plan on how your business would deal with this situation, and employees are aware of this.

The following should be considered:

  • Can work be done with no power? This is highly unlikely due to the dark early evenings, but more possible if black outs occur in the early morning.
  • Could employees work from home or at a different site if this area is not impacted by the blackout?
  • Asking employees to agree to a temporary change of hours in the event of a black out, to either make up the hours at a different time, or to work less hours if this is not possible, and therefore receive less pay.
  • If there is a short-term working or lay off clause in the contract, this could be used if there is no alternative but to send employees home without pay. If this exists in the contract, a temporary change of hours agreement will not be needed.
  • Alternatively, you could ask employees to take annual leave to cover it, to prevent any loss of wages.
  • Will you need to ask an employee to return to the workplace to switch back on important equipment such as servers, alarms or fridges?

It is likely that there will be an increased number of requests to take dependency leave (which is unpaid and a statutory right) if employees need to take care of dependents, for example collecting their children from school, nursery or after school club early, due to the blackout.

Should you need any more information on preparing for a blackout contact our HR advisors who are here to help.


Click here to view our Privacy Policy