Met Office issues UK Weather Warnings! What does this mean for employees?

Met Office issues UK Weather Warnings! What does this mean for employees?

With weather warnings for snow and ice being issued across large parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland by the Met Office, what does this mean for employees who may potentially be affected when trying to work, or get into work?

Are you entitled to your pay if you cannot attend work due to adverse weather?

If an employee is unable to physically attend work due to bad weather, there is no obligation for their employer to pay them. Unless the employer provides transportation for their employee to get into work, the onus to attend work is on the employee. An employer would be able to count any non attendance as an unauthorised absence or, alternatively, they may be willing to allow an employee to work from home, or to utilise annual leave to cover the absence.

Temperature in the workplace

There is no minimum temperature that a workplace should be, but it is important that a safe working environment is maintained. The government health and safety executive outlines that work which is of lower activity or at a desk has a recommended temperature of 16 degrees, but for work that requires more physical activity, the recommendation is 13 degrees.

What happens if the workplace is closed?

If the workplace is closed, an employer would still have to pay you (unless there are terms of your contract which state otherwise). However, if the physical workplace is closed and you can still work from home, an employer would be allowed to ask you to do so.

Annual leave on dates that the workplace is closed

If you have booked leave on a day that the workplace ends up being closed, whether or not you can seek to claim your leave back for this day will be dependent on the nature of your work. If you work somewhere that does not allow for working from home, you may well be able to ask for this time back however, if the physical workplace is shut yet others have continued to work from home, it would be unlikely that you would be able to ask for your leave to be claimed back.

School closures

If you have children with schools that are closed, you would be able to take a reasonable amount of time off work, as emergency unpaid leave. This is if there is an unexpected instance that disrupts normal care arrangements – it should be noted that this time is not to look after the children, but in order to make alternative arrangements for them instead. However, a lot of employers are flexible in such circumstances and will permit employees to work from home, make the time up, or potentially take annual leave in place of this.

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