Do you have to pay staff who can’t get to work because of the snow?

Do you have to pay staff who are off work because of the snow?

During the wintry weather, many employees are electing to stay at home rather than come to work. This may be because of:

  • Blocked roads;
  • Severe weather warnings;
  • Needing to look after children when the schools are closed;
  • Advice that people should only travel if their journey is essential.

Even employees who do make it to work may need to go home early to avoid being stranded.

Inevitably, this will lead to disruption to your business. So how should you handle it?

Here are three things you need to know about dealing with problems in your business caused by the weather.

1           Employees are not automatically entitled to be paid if they’re off work because of the snow

An employment contract is two way.  The employee receives pay in exchange for carrying out work.  If they’re unable to carry out that work, they’re not entitled to be paid, even if it’s not their fault.

Employees are entitled to take time off to look after their children when the schools are closed but you don’t have to pay them.

2          Be fair and flexible

Refusing to pay an employee may have a detrimental effect on staff morale and productivity. You should weigh up whether it makes better business sense to pay them anyway.

You should also consider alternative working patterns such as working from home.

3          Implement an effective policy on adverse weather

Introduce a written policy that deals with the steps employees are expected to take to try to get to work on time.  It should also deal with how the business will continue if staff are absent and how you will treat lateness

Having a policy will mean that there’s less scope for confusion or complaints.

And finally . . .

If you do need help responding to staff absence, feel free to give me a call on 01604 601 575 for a free consultation.

Legal Advice for Employers