UK fuel shortage: Your rights if you can’t go to work or take kids to …

The recent fuel crisis has seen drivers queuing for hours at the pumps over fears of a shortage.

A shortage of HGV drivers is being blamed for the crisis, though the government insists there was never a shortage in petrol itself, reports The Mirror.

However, the huge queues which have built up in large swathes of the country have resulted in some petrol stations running out of fuel very quickly – with some already having to close altogether.

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In Cambridge, there have already been reports of fights in the forecourts.

On the opening day of the Tory Party conference in Manchester, chief Minister Boris Johnson insisted the fuel crisis is “abating”, reports Birmingham Live.

Mr Johnson said the problem at the forecourts – triggered by reports that a shortage of tanker drivers was affecting deliveries – is “fundamentally one of supply”.

His comments come as military drivers prepare to take to the roads for the first time on Monday in sustain of the operation to keeping filling stations supplied.

Around 100 trained drivers with an additional 100 sustain troops are due to be deployed over the coming week, despite repeated assurances by ministers the situation is “stabilising”.

One expert has issued some advice for anyone worried if fuel difficulties could affect their employment rights.

Here are some meaningful points:

Can someone be fired if they can’t get to work because of fuel shortage?

Legal expert Dean Dunham says: “Your employer could not immediately sack you just because you can’t get to work due to the fuel shortages. To do so would likely be construed as unfair dismissal.

“Your position is further strengthened if the character of your work method you could work from home until the issue has been resolved.

“You will be entitled to take time off to look after your children if the fuel shortage prevents them getting to school. But if you take time off and are unable to work from home, your employer will have no obligation to pay you.”

Can you be fined for not sending children to school?

Parents are generally be liable to a fine if a child is late at the minimum 10 times in a three-month period.

But if it can be proved that the fuel shortage is to blame, it is doubtful a fine will be imposed.

What are your rights if sets are cancelled or disrupted?

Taxis and private transport bookings have already been disrupted and deliveries ­delayed because of the fuel issue.

Dean says: “In all of these situations you will have a contract – in some situations a verbal contract – that will provide for a service to be given to you in consideration of a fee.

“Ordinarily, if the trader fails to provide the service or does not provide all that has been agreed, you will have a claim for breach of contract.

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