What are your legal rights if extreme weather conditions prevent you from working


Legal experts have explained what your legal rights are if snow, rain or stormy weather prevents you from getting to work.

Storm Arwen recently affected large parts of the UK, and this winter could see more extreme weather and even snow causing problems for people.

So what if the weather prevented you from getting to work?

Wright Hassall legal experts have put together some simple advice on where you are if you can’t get to work due to heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, or flooding.

Tina Chander, labor law manager at Wright Hassall, said: “For starters, employees are not legally entitled to be paid if they cannot get to work due to inclement weather conditions.”

She added that each employee should check the terms and conditions of their contacts to see how much they will be paid under such circumstances.

“Alternatively, an employer can apply a non-contractual policy that allows employees to pay in such circumstances,” Ms. Chander said.

“There should always be a policy in place that covers the circumstances in which employees cannot get to work due to inclement weather conditions. This way there is no confusion.

“If there is no contractual right to be paid, and no policy that requires payment to be made under these circumstances, employees may wish to take annual leave to ensure that they are still paid.

“Likewise, provided the employer gives the right notice, he can require his staff to take annual leave. The notice required is double the length of time they want employees to take annual leave, so travel disruption should be somewhat predictable.

“Alternative options could be to consider agreeing a period of unpaid leave with the employee so that he does not have to use his annual leave entitlements. Or, the employer could agree with the employee that they will not be required to work, but will have to “make up” for hours that have not been worked within a specified time.

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“If the employer has a work-from-home policy, sometimes referred to as a ‘hybrid work policy,’ they may choose to allow their employees to work from home on days when travel is limited or may present a risk to health and the safety of their workforce. so that productivity is not reduced.

“Hybrid work can also help create a more relaxed work environment and provide employees with the flexibility to work from home at times like this. It can prevent accidents, safety incidents and unnecessary stress of workers. This may be even more true if children’s schools are closed due to flooding.

“If the employer’s workplace is closed due to flooding or disturbance, the situation is slightly different and employers should generally still pay their employees for that day. However, employers can require their staff to work from home or to another place of work.

“Payroll deduction when an employer has closed their workplace can be characterized as an authorized payroll deduction or breach of contract, which could lead to legal action against them.

“As a business, it’s also a reminder to have a disaster recovery plan. Many businesses are and have been affected by flooding in the past. Developing and communicating a plan can limit the stress and disruption following an event such as flooding.

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