27 February 2018
As heavy snow has made its way to Basingstoke and north Hampshire causing travel disruption and school closures, you may be wondering what your employment rights are if you are unable to make it to work.
Your employer may well be sympathetic with the difficulties you face when weather conditions are severe and would not want you to put yourself at risk by travelling in dangerous conditions.
However, it may surprise you that in the majority of cases you are not automatically entitled to be paid if you cannot make it to work.
The first thing to do is check to see if your employer has a bad weather policy.
Generous employers may pay you if bad weather genuinely stops you from travelling to work. In the absence of a policy it is up to the employer to decide whether your pay is deducted for not making it into work.
It may be worth offering to make up for lost hours or work from home. For some people this is a feasible option if they are able to remotely log onto their computer system or where their work involves a lot of telephone use.
Under certain conditions your employer can require you to take a day as holiday. In this case you are entitled to a minimum notice period which is equivalent of twice the length of leave. For example, you should be given two days’ notice if your employer wants you to take a day’s leave. This does not apply if you get more leave than the statutory minimum.
Your employer cannot force you to take time off as unpaid leave unless it is written in your contract. Although, if you have school children and their school is closed, you are entitled to unpaid leave.
If your workplace is closed due to bad weather you are entitled to be paid in full and your employer will not have the right to require you to take the time as annual leave.
However, be warned, if you do not inform your employer of your whereabouts or do not make sufficient effort to get into work you could face disciplinary action.
This would be more likely if your colleagues have made it into work and you have not.
Gill Brown, Head of Employment Law at Phillips Solicitors and her team are on hand to offer advice with this and any other employment related questions, for employees and employers.
Please call us or email and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- 01256 460830
- [email protected]
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