Snow Disruption Guide
As Christmas gets nearer the big question is, will we have a white Christmas? But with snow comes the yearly questions concerning staff absence.
What do I do about pay if an employee couldn’t get to work?
Unless the employer contractually states they will provide transport for their employees, the responsibility for getting to work rests with the employee. If the employee does not get into work the employer has no obligation to pay them.
I am worried my staff may be using the weather as an excuse to stay at home?
In most employment contracts the obligation to turn up to work is expressed explicitly. If not, it is certainly implied. If this obligation is breached by the employee, it must be well justified or classed as unauthorised absence. If you believe an employee is using the weather as an excuse then you should start an investigation in line with your company’s disciplinary procedure.
An employee missed work due to their child’s school closing. What do I do?
This is a major issue for many businesses. When snow becomes too bad schools do close unexpectedly. Whether time off is paid or unpaid depends on the employers ‘time off for dependents’ policy and any previous action taken by the employer, which could set a precedent. Under employment legislation employees have the right to take unpaid time off to manage emergency situations regarding their dependents.
What are the Health & Safety implications of bad weather?
Employers should take a balanced approach with their employees. You should encourage them to get to work in the safest possible way, however, do not force them to travel against government warnings, and do not threaten them with disciplinary action if they don’t get in.