Adverse Weather and the Workplace
As the winter months continue there is a good chance that adverse weather conditions will present issues to manage in the workplace.
Issues facing an employer could include employees not being able to attend the workplace due to travel disruption. If this happens an employer is within their rights not to pay an employee if they are unable to attend to work.
An employer can avoid taking the more rigid approach of not paying an employee if they are unable to attend work by being flexible, or where possible embracing the capabilities of information technology. This could include allowing an employee to work from home or another more convenient company site.
During adverse weather, it is possible that schools will be closed presenting an issue for working parents. In emergency situations there is an entitlement to take unpaid time off to look after dependants. Extreme weather could be seen as such an emergency situation.
If the weather becomes particularly bad an employer could decide to close the business. This would count as a ‘lay-off’, so an employer would be required to pay employees at their normal rate unless ‘lay-off’ provisions have been made contractually or by agreement. If this is the case an employee could still qualify for a statutory guarantee payment by law.
An employer should consider having a policy on the subject area of severe weather. This may be required only a few times a year, but could be broadened to include public transport strikes for example.
If you need any further advice please contact us here at Atom HR.