Winter Weather And Travel Disruption

Rumours of a snowfall are in the air, so it’s worth knowing what employment law says about adverse weather conditions. Are you prepared for the disruption that might make travelling to work a bit tricky?

Christmas may be over but if the weather outside is still frightful, the fire may be so delightful that your employees just can’t make it into work.

Did you know that, according to employment law:

  • If your office is open but your staff don’t make it in, you’re not obliged to pay them?
  • If you do close the office due to adverse weather, but your staff make themselves available for work, then you do need to pay them?

There’s no need to panic though. The key thing is to be prepared by having a robust adverse weather policy in place. It doesn’t have to be a weighty volume – policies can be light touch, but they do need to be clear.

Here are a few things to think about.

  • Do your employees know what steps they need to take to try and get to work in adverse weather conditions?
  • Can they work from home?
  • Does your technology infrastructure support remote working?
  • Can your staff make the time up some other way?
  • How will you manage staff shortages?
  • How should staff make up the time if they arrive late because of transport issues? Will you pay them anyway?

Make sure that your absence policy can withstand the wintry weather too. People tend to take more time off at this time of year, and not just because of cold and flu bugs. If employees are struggling to make it to work because the roads are closed, then the chances are schools will be shutting down too. So parents may need to stay at home to look after their children, which is their statutory right. Does your policy make it clear whether they will be paid or not?

The key thing is to plan now so you avoid conflict later – and make sure your employees know where they stand. Our HR experts are on hand to help with all of these issues. If you need advice, get in touch and we’ll be glad to help. As long as you’re in the know, let it snow…