Snow Days: Employee Rights During Poor Weather Conditions
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?
With Christmas fast approaching, we're all wondering whether we'll see any snow this year... but where does that leave you as an employer?
Whilst the festive period may be your busiest time of the year, ACAS is very clear that you can't insist employees come to work if they feel the journey would be unsafe due to weather conditions.
There is no automatic right to pay employees for snow days, however you should always check what's written in your contract of employment before withholding a days wage.
If an employee is requesting the day off due to their children's school or daycare being closed, they would most likely be entitled to parental leave or emergency leave for dependants. In this case, you would be required to give them 'reasonable' time off to make alternative arrangements.
You can help to keep your business running smoothly by checking weather updates and pre-planning the workload based on reduced staffing numbers. Whilst there is no automatic right for employees to be paid if they are absent from work, this is not the case if the business has to close. If you need to close your premises due to heavy snow fall, you should pay employees as per their contracted hours - however, you can request that they work remotely if their job allows for that.