As Snow has fallen on the ground across the UK this week, we have received a number of enquiries about Employee rights when adverse weather conditions hit.
Employers should have an Adverse Weather Policy in place so that Employees are clear as to what they are and aren’t entitled to. This will aid in any weather conditions that cause your employees to require time away from work.
There is no statutory entitlement to paid leave if any employee cannot come into work because of adverse weather conditions. If they are snowed or flooded in, or have children sent home from school due to closures, they will not be entitled to payment, unless the Employer chooses to as a goodwill gesture.
Employers should be reasonable in these situations, and where employees are not able to work through no fault of their own, thought should be given to some payment for that day. Employers should set out clearly in any policy under what terms any payment maybe made. Also a system for reporting should be clearly documented.
It may be an idea to allow employees to make up hours, if they are only absent for half a day, or request that they use a day’s holiday to cover the time, however this cannot be enforced as a mandatory requirement in any policy. Employers can however if they wish insist the time is taken as unpaid leave. It is at the Employers discretion. The only situation where a mandatory payment would be made is if the Employer decides not to open, as the Employee has no option to work, it would be assumed that they would be paid for that day.