Brace yourself for absent workers during adverse weather

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Do employees who cannot get to work or those who arrive late have the right to be paid?

Author: Katie Fitzjohn
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 3 years old.

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With snow any icy weather just around the corner, travel disruptions are likely. Employers and employees need to be aware of his this may affect employment.

One of the key questions which arises during bad weather conditions is whether employees who cannot get to work or those who arrive late have the right to be paid.

The law does not provide employees with an automatic right to paid leave if they are unable to attend work due to adverse weather. Employees should assume that if the business is open, you will be expected to attend work. Unless annual leave has been booked or the employee has called in sick, the employees’ absence may be treated as unauthorised leave.

However, an employment contract or an Adverse Weather and Travel Disruption Policy may provide the right to be paid in such situations. The policy may provide flexible working arrangements, including the right to work at home, start late and finish early or agree to make up time at a later date. In any event, the employer is advised to ensure the policy is clearly set out, communicated and distributed  to all employees to avoid any confusion.

Employees should also be reminded to follow company procedures, for example by informing their employer as soon as possible if they cannot get to work or will be arriving late due to bad weather.

The position regarding pay may differ in circumstances where the employer decides to close and/or if the employer normally provides the employees travel to work and this has been cancelled due to adverse weather. In these situations the employee should still be paid however, it is advised that employees check their contract or any company policies to see whether any flexible working arrangements, as mentioned above, are available.

Katie Fitzjohn

Legal Advisor

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