Rioting at Work: Rules and Laws on Workplace Anarchy

A man rioting with a bottle that's on fire
You do not want this at work.

From time to time, you may find your employees wish to riot. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as if your canteen sandwiches have a sudden dip in quality.

Knowing how to deal with a rampaging workforce hellbent on destroying your premises is a key skill for long-term business success.

In this guide, we explore the employment laws prohibiting riots. And how to deal with one should your employees wish to break the aforementioned laws.

The Laws Behind Rioting at Work

You may wish to begin by reading Noam Chomsky’s On Anarchism.

Alternatively, you can read our business guide to employees punching each other in the face. However, the law on all of these is governed by The Rioting at Work Act 1974.

Page 10 of 11 clearly indicates:

“Employees who riot can be classified as rioting employees. Rioting can be defined as a; melee, uproar, furore, commotion, and/or scuffle. Activities that define the aforementioned definition include:

a) Ensemble carnage with blazing infernos and en masse fury.

b) Hurling petrol bombs while bellowing obscenities.

c) Fisticuffs in general.

d) A refusal to conform to, and behave with, the polite conduct of ordinary society (i.e. Not rioting).

Rioting at work is a sackable offence. For example, any employee caught hurling a petrol bomb, assaulting colleagues, and defecating on your premises is liable for instant dismissal.

Should this employee state being fired is unfair, you have the legal right to indicate they just set your building on fire and dismissal is par for the course.”

It’s essential you remember this legislation and quote it, verbatim, at your employees during a riot. Even if 12 of them are stomping up and down on your person in a frenzy.

However, as an employer you do also have a duty of care to your workforce.

You should do your utmost to ensure none of your employees succumb to self-immolation and/or a crush due to a surging stampede.

The moment you dismiss and employee, you no longer have to concern yourself with such trivialities.

Thusly, it’s recommended you sack everyone the moment a riot commences with gusto. This will save you any faff over concerns for human life.

Common Reasons for Workplace Rioting

A 2021 study titled The Work-Based Rioting Reasons and Probabilities Study determined the most common reason for riots at work—sandwiches.

It discovered if your business isn’t providing adequate quality bread with filling between the slices, it can often result in the decimation of your premises.

However, there are other reasons why your employees may indulge in a fracas. These include:

  • Should your business run out of toilet paper.
  • If there are no free tea or coffee sachets in the canteen (i.e. dehydration).
  • Should you choose an unpopular name for the office dog.
  • If the CEO stinks of body odour.
  • Should you not have comfy office chairs.

All the of the above, and many others unlisted, may result in an office-wide riot.

If the riot becomes particularly severe, it could break out into the local streets and involve everyday citizens.

At this point, the police, army, and national guard may be called in to restore order.

Needless to say, this can be very damaging for your business’ reputation.

If there’s millions of pounds worth of community damage due to your inability to stock toilet paper, people will start questioning your leadership skills.

How to Prevent Rioting at Work

The most effective riot prevention technique is to ensure your business is readily stocked with a fantastic array of tasty sandwiches.

You should look to stock really nice sandwiches that everyone can enjoy. And that includes those with brown and white bread, with or without the crusts on. Variety is important to satisfy the manic emotional state of fussy eaters.

Should you fail to have adequate sandwiches on your premises for a period of several days, there’s a 97% probability of a destructive riot.

As such, it’s highly advisable you take appropriate measures with food preparation.

However, an alternative route is to simply purchase a water cannon and not give a toss about your employees’ entitled expectations.

Then, in the event of a riot, begin blasting your workforce with water.

Remember, they can’t riot if they’re being cannoned off their feet with blasts of 20 litres of water per second.

On the plus side, this will alleviate dehydration (a common cause of workplace rioting), thusly bringing an early end to at least one rioting situation.


  1. Excellent coverage of this increasingly disturbing situation. It appears the common man/woman refuses to tolerate and empty fridge in the lunch room, an obstinate PC, most anything can set off a rebellion. It’s clearly wise to keep a pressure cleaner handy to blast the anarchists back to their humble mindset. Hats off!

    Liked by 2 people

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