Thousands of Australian workers have been unable to return to work from trips to Europe due to volcanic ash from Iceland causing unprecedented disruption to air travel.
But with many stranded and enjoying an extended, if unplanned, trip, workers will be wondering whether the time will count as part of their annual leave, or their employer will simply put it down to bad luck and “let them off”.
Unfortunately for some, Joydeep Hor, managing partner at law firm Harmers, said that in most cases employees would have to use annual leave for the entire time they were away – as technically it is their responsibility to do what they can to be back at work after a period of leave.
“Some employees may have insurance that might cover them for that exigency,” he said. “Others may well adopt the view that they should just apply to extend their leave, recognising that it is likely to be approved by their employer even at short notice.”
Meanwhile The Australian has reported that energy giant Rio Tinto has been forced to delay its Melbourne annual general meeting, which was scheduled for this Thursday, because its board and executives are trapped in London by the volcanic ash covering Europe.