this week of a ‘weather bomb’ hitting parts of the UK, employers should (if
they haven’t already) give some thought to the consequential workplace issues,
namely, travel disruption.
recently issued some helpful guidance for employers, dealing generally with
‘workplace issues over winter months’. The key points to note are that:
access Acas’ guidance and further details here.
are not automatically entitled to pay if they are unable to get into work
because of bad weather (unless the travel itself constitutes working time);
should, however, check their handbooks / contracts to be sure that there is no
contractual agreement / duty to pay staff in these circumstances. They
should also be mindful that a term to this effect could be ‘implied’ into contractual
terms where it has become custom and practise to pay staff in these scenarios;
disruption policies can be a good way of ensuring staff know what is expected
of them in the event the weather does affect their ability to get into work,
and can deal with whether or not employees will be paid in these circumstances;
should be flexible and consider alternatives such as working from home, in the
event it is not possible to get to work. Be prepared, however, for
employees to seek to rely on instances where they have been able to
successfully work from home in the past, when making flexible working requests
for example; and
are entitled to unpaid time off to look after dependents in emergency
situations – this might be the case where, for example, schools are closed and
employees have to stay at home to look after children.