With Met Office weather warnings in place, Devon & Cornwall are set to be hit hard by bitter Siberian weather conditions. But what happens if your staff can’t get to work due to the snow? Here is all the information you need from our employment law experts…

The legal position

Employees are obliged to attend the office unless they are sick, on holiday or on maternity leave etc. Employees are therefore legally obliged to attend work, even in extreme weather conditions. This means that you are under no obligation to pay employees who cannot get to work due to the weather. The one exception to this is an employee’s right to time off for dependents. If an employee is unable to work due to school closures / childcare commitments then they will have a right to unpaid time off to provide emergency care.  

What you can do?

You can require employees to take unpaid leave or elect to give the employee the option of: (1) using their holiday on these days or (2) making the time up at a later date, so that they still get paid. Any agreement should be documented such as in an email. Homeworking could also be an option.  

Of course, you could also choose to pay the employees as normal as a gesture of goodwill.

What we advise

We advise encouraging your staff to try to make it in and let them know the position with regards to absences and pay. 

Be clear, be consistent and you can’t go too wrong. If in doubt we have a team of employment law experts who are able to assist.

Call WBW Solicitors on 01626 202404 or email lawyer@wbw.co.uk for advice.