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Is your employer supporting you through Volcanic Ash problems?

NATS said in a statement on Monday night: “The volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK.

“This demonstrates the dynamic and rapidly changing conditions in which we are working.

“Latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation is worsening in some areas.

“Based on this information, the situation for Northern Irish airports for the morning is uncertain, due to the new ash cloud.

“The latest information shows that Scottish airports should be available from 7am and more airspace over England may become available from 1pm, although not as far south as the main London airports.”

NATS said it would provide further updates throughout Tuesday.

Earlier, Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced plans to use Royal Navy vessels to bring home some of the estimated 150,000 Britons stranded abroad.

Ministers met following a clamour from airlines to restore flights, with carriers including British Airways pointing to the success of test flights to press home their arguments.

While travel organisations warned that it would be some time before travel and airports were back to normal, airlines were counting the cost of the disruption, which has seen a shut-down of UK airports since the end of last week.

BA said the flight ban had cost it around £15 million to £20 million a day.

One of the main criticism levelled against carriers is about clear communication.

“One understands the problems but clarity of message on websites is easy” said Chris Slay of Skills Provision who is juggling employees between Eastern Europe and the UK. “We took the decision early to tell staff to find alternative transport and have been sending them money to buy bus tickets. However there is now a 4 day delay on tickets and it will take another 10 days for matters to become stable even assuming no further eruptions.”

The knock on effect of this event is immense, a spokesman from the FSB said,it is hard to imagine any business that it has not been touched directly or indirectly by the events of the last week and the impact on the fragile economic recovery in the UK is not to be underestimated and it is essential that Employers and Employees pull together. 

Author – Chris Slay

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