What should an employer do if an employee is detained in police custody due to alleged football hooliganism, and is unable to attend work?
If an employee is unable to attend work because they are detained in police custody due to alleged football hooliganism the employer should attempt to find out as much as possible about the situation, including the likely length of absence and the nature of the alleged offence. Assuming that the employee is released after a short period and returns to work the employer should hold a meeting with them to find out more, namely whether or not the employee has been charged, and, if they have, with what. The employee should be given the opportunity to state their version of events. Although the absence was unauthorised it is unlikely to be reasonable for the employer to take disciplinary action against the employee if they were unable to attend work due to the detention, particularly if there is no charge or the charges are minor. However, the employer may elect not to pay the employee for the period of absence.
If the absence is likely to be prolonged because the employee has been charged with a serious offence and is remanded in custody, it is advisable for the employer to keep them "on the books" pending the full trial. The employer may elect not to pay the employee during the absence because they will be unable to perform the employment contract.