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Meltdown Monday: what can you do when your commute is cancelled?

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Meltdown Monday: what can you do when your commute is cancelled?

Rail passengers have been hit with widespread disruption on what is being called ‘Meltdown Monday’ after new timetables were introduced.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) which serves the Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern rail franchises has rescheduled all services in a bit to boost frequency and reliability.

However, the operator apologised after dozens of trains were cancelled only hours after the new timetable began on Sunday. Passengers on routes run by Northern – which operates between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle – are also reporting delays after their time tables were changed.

Hundreds of commuters have taken to social media to express their anger and frustration at the changes, which have left commuters stranded or crammed into already full carriages. One user said that they had been forced to take their usual journey to work ‘by bus, train and a two mile walk’ after their Northern service was cancelled.

Others feared that this latest round of rail disruption could lead to being reprimanded or even sacked by their employer.

So what are your rights if you find yourself stranded when your commute is cancelled?

Philip Richardson, partner and head of employment law, said: “Ultimately, employers do not have to pay those employees who cannot make it into work because of transport problems. This includes cancellations to train services or industrial action.

“However, the majority of workplaces will be keen to keep businesses running as smoothly as possible and should show some understanding where their employees are left stranded. This should be particularly true of firms in large cities – such as London – where workers may not have access to other forms of transport, such as a car.

“Some employers may allow employees to work from home. Where this is possible, employees should be aware that businesses may have policies in place which allow them to monitor the output of staff working from home, to ensure that productivity is not affected.

“Otherwise, employers may allow their staff to make up their hours later or use accrued holidays.”

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