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Adverse weather - What did you do?
In the recent snow and floods, which caused havoc in many parts of the country, many employees stayed away from work, but didn’t know whether they would be paid or not. It is worthwhile putting an Adverse Weather Policy in place if you don’t already have one, so that employees know what is expected of them and whether they will be paid or not in such circumstances.

The TUC hit out at employers who did not pay employees who didn’t go to work on those days. They advised those employers who don't have 'bad weather' policies, that it would be bad practice not to pay staff or force them to take holiday as this would cause resentment among those have been kept away from work through no fault of their own.

However, the strict legal position is that you are only obliged to pay an employee when he or she is 'ready, willing and available for work'. Therefore, you do not need to pay an employee who fails to turn up for work due to the bad weather.

But the situation may not be quite as clear cut. For example:

• Are there other alternatives? Could employees work from home or report to a different site? Could they take annual leave or swap their rostered days?

• Have you taken the decision to close the organisation’s premises? If so, you would have to continue to pay the employees unless you have a ‘lay off’ clause in their contracts.

• Have the employees got to stay at home to look after a child whose school has been closed? If so, that would come under the arrangements for emergency leave to care for a dependant.

To make sure that you have all such scenarios covered you should have an adverse weather policy in place. Get in touch if you want to make sure that you’re covered for the next period of bad weather.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016

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