Can’t Make it to Work Because of the Weather?

Can’t Make it to Work Because of the Weather?

What if you can’t make it to work due to weather conditions?

Being unable to make it to work due to adverse weather is most likely to be an issue in winter – problems might arise due to snow, floods, high winds etc.

The first thing you should do is to make every effort to get to work, by alternative means if necessary, provided that this doesn’t massively put your personal safety at risk. For example, if you can’t get your car out of a snowbound lane, can you safely walk to a main road or railway station from where public transport may be running? However, no employer can legally force an employee to attempt an unsafe journey to work.

Although you might think you don’t deserve to be penalised for something that isn’t your fault, if you really can’t make it in to work due to weather conditions, then it is unlikely you will be paid in full for that day. The only circumstances in which your employer legally has to do this is if the office is closed entirely due to the weather – say because all the people with a front door key are unable to get in, or because the weather has forced the office to be closed, perhaps due to a fallen tree or a failure of water or power.

The legal position is that your employer doesn’t need to pay you for any day for which you can’t get in to the office, and where the office remains open, unless there is a provision to the contrary in your contract of employment or company handbook. Fortunately, many companies will allow you to take the day as paid leave in these circumstances, even though you haven’t given the usual notice, although of course it will be taken out of your annual leave allowance.

If the weather is causing a problem with your journey to work, you should telephone and explain the situation as soon as possible. If you are delayed but still expect to get there eventually, keep your employer updated on the progress of your journey.

As an alternative to taking the day as leave, you may be able to work from home on that day, although this is entirely at your employer’s discretion – sometimes it is not practical for staff to work from home, especially at short notice. Whilst some form of bad weather may have been predicted for days in advance, you can never be sure exactly how severe its effects will be.

The same options are available to you if you would have been able to complete the journey to work, but were forced to stay home as your child’s school was closed.

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