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Don't let summer travel delays become a workplace dispute

27 June 2013 | tagged News release

For many, the approach of the busiest holiday period of the year means last-minute preparations before a much longed for summer break.

And although most summer holidays go smoothly, problems can arise, for instance, with delays, accommodation or lost passports.

Travel insurance can compensate when some things go wrong. But Douglas Jaap, a member of the Law Society of Scotland's Employment Law Committee and a partner at Digby Brown in Glasgow, also offers some tips to ensure that holiday hitches don't become workplace disputes when you get back home.

"Before you head off, check your rights and obligations to your employers if your trip is cut short or unexpectedly lengthened.

"Try to get photographic evidence or written confirmation about whatever has gone wrong. An email or camera phone photograph can prove useful if your employer questions why your trip lasted a week longer than expected.

"You may also need a medical certificate from anyone who treated you for an illness or medical problem while abroad.

"It is important to communicate with your employers as soon as you can when you realise you won't make it back to work on time. Failure to do so might be treated as a breach of contract and, in extreme cases, you could lose your job. If you can't make contact, ask a friend or family member to get in touch for you.

"Resist the temptation to post a tweet or a Facebook comment comparing your less than perfect airline/shipping company/travel firm with your own workplace. It might be great for venting stress at the time but you will likely have some explaining to do when you return to work.

"Hopefully, you will be able to resolve any issues quickly while on holiday - and so there will no problem with your boss when you get back. And remember that others can help - your holiday company or rep might be able to sort out an accommodation problem, or at least give a refund later (provided you have a letter of confirmation from your hotel).

"For those travelling independently, British consular staff, the local police and local English-speaking people can all assist.

"Finally and importantly - enjoy your holidays!"

ENDS                                                

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Val McEwan on 0131 226 8884 or Julia Brown on 0131 476 8204

Email: valerimcewan@lawscot.org.uk/ juliabrown@lawscot.org.uk

27 June 2013

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