Working through bad weather

Category: Employment, News

In recent weeks, we’ve seen snow and ice return and wreak havoc across parts of the UK. Now, how to tackle the myths that often exist around working through bad weather.


Should employees still be paid?

If a worker is unable to get to work because of travel disruption or bad weather, they must inform their employer as soon as possible.


Contrary to popular belief, workers are not automatically entitled to pay if they are unable to get to work because of travel disruption or bad weather.


As an employer, if you close your business because of bad weather, workers would usually be entitled to their normal pay.


Some workers may have clauses in their contracts. These may set out alternative workplace policies in the case of working through bad weather. For example, working at the nearest office, change in duties or working from home etc.


If schools have had to close due to bad weather…

All employees have the right to take unpaid time off to deal with emergency situations for their children or other dependants. If a school closes at short notice it is usually considered to be an emergency.


There is a popular belief that when the office is too cold, workers will all be sent home. Is this true?

No! The Health and Safety Executive recommends a minimum temperature of 16C for offices where the work is deskbound and fairly sedentary. However, if the work requires physical effort, the minimum recommended temperature is 13C.


These temperatures are not a legal requirement. However, as an employer, you do have a duty to provide a “reasonable” temperature in the workplace.

Workers who are vulnerable in any way, such as being pregnant, would normally get sent home. They should then be paid as normal.