My employee has been late all week because their child is going to a different school because their normal school is closed because of RAAC. How do I deal with it?

The concerns over the safety of several types of buildings that contain reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) have led to the partial or full closure of some schools. Some children have been transferred to other schools temporarily which means that their parents may have to take a different, perhaps longer, route in the morning to drop their children off which may result in lateness to work. Whilst this is lateness which you can deal with in the same way as other lateness, it may be advisable to consider the employee's circumstances and the mitigation that they give if you instigated a disciplinary process.

The situation is beyond the employee's control so you may wish this to play a part in your decision making. There is also the possibility of an indirect sex discrimination, if the employee involved was a woman, because women are more likely to be the primary caregiver and so be the ones taking children to school, which would mean that more women would be subject to the disciplinary procedure than men. Consider alternative options to support the employee, like agreeing to a temporary period of flexible working in which the employee shortens their working hours or starts later and finishes later.

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