Pizza Hut
The chain has come under fire for the strict measures iStock

A branch of Pizza Hut in Florida has threatened to punish employees if they miss too many shifts due to Hurricane Irma.

In a memo that was later leaked on social media, evacuated staff were told they "MUST return within 72 HOURS".

They were also only allowed a 24-hour grace period before a scheduled shift to evacuate from their homes.

"You cannot evacuate Friday for a Tuesday storm event!" the notice read. "Failure to show for these shifts, regardless of reason, will be considered a no call / no show and documentation will be issued."

Millions of Floridians were urged to evacuate by Governor Rick Scott, local law enforcement and by President Donald Trump several days before Irma made landfall in the Sunshine State.

Hurricane Irma has so far claimed the lives of 10 Americans and a further 38 people across the Caribbean.

The storm brought huge surges and 185mph winds, flattened islands, destroyed homes and turned roads into rivers.

In a statement, Pizza Hut said: "We are uncompromising in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our team members.

"All locations in the path of Irma are closed and will remain closed until local authorities deem the area safe. We absolutely do not have a policy that dictates when team members can leave or return from a disaster, and the manager who posted this letter did not follow company guidelines.

"We can also confirm that the local franchise operator has addressed this situation with the manager involved."