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Let it Snow…..Let it snow…..Let it Snow

An evocative song which conjures up everything that is magical about the winter season. Which is fine if your employees are snuggled up indoors in front of a roaring log fire. However it can be a nightmare if they are trapped by the weather, unable to get into work or stranded as a result of public transport cancellations.

With the uncertainty of the impact of climate change on our weather system, it is inevitable that travel disruption will become an ever increasing issue as unsettling weather events increase. Here are some key points you may need to consider when your staff are unable to attend work due to travel related disruptions:

  • Unless your contract or policies state otherwise, there is no legal obligation to pay staff, if they are unable to get to work because of travel disruption.
  • You should consider putting into place an adverse weather policy which clearly sets out how you will deal with such issues. HR:4UK can assist you with this.
  • You may be able to allow your staff to start later or finish early to avoid any rush hour disruption.
  • Maximise the use of technology, smartphones, tablets etc. allowing your staff to work from home at short notice.
  • If schools are closed and there are extreme unexpected weather conditions, this may be considered to be an emergency situation which cannot be planned for and could give rise to your staff exercising their rights under Time off for Dependants regulations.
  • If such rights apply then your staff are entitled to as much unpaid time off as a tribunal decides is reasonable to make alternative arrangements for childcare or dependent support. Such leave is unpaid. Further information on Time off for Dependants can be found here.
  • As an alternative, and if your staff agree, then they could take such time off as paid holiday.
  • If you decide to close your business because of adverse weather your staff are entitled to be paid, irrespective of whether or not they tried to attend work.
  • As with all areas of employment law you must be fair and impartial when dealing with staff issues and you should ensure that you treat all your staff equally to avoid any claims of favouritism or discrimination.

For further help and advice, speak to one of our advisors by calling 01455 444222 or complete our online enquiry form here