After a relatively warm Christmas break, forecasters are predicting snow across the UK. As the transport network struggles to cope, some employees will find themselves unable to get to work and employers will have to deal with questions over pay and absence.
At Backhouse Solicitors, we review the employment handbooks and policies of many new clients each year and we find that surprisingly few have proper policies in place to deal with bad weather. Our advice to employers is to take the time now to review and update your Bad Weather policy if you have one, or if not to put one in place.
Creating a Bad Weather Policy
A Bad Weather Policy should explain to employees:
• the steps their employer expects them to take to try and get into work on time; and also
• how the business will continue if they cannot get in (e.g. through home working)
It goes without saying that a policy is only useful if employees know about it. Many employers buy a pack of policies that sits in a drawer and is never used. Employees need to know what is expected of them, which is why we help our clients communicate their policies to all staff. Web based policies are a simple way to achieve this (and easy to update), but more traditional printed copies available to all are perfectly acceptable.
What about pay?
Employees don’t have a legal right to be paid if they are late due to travel disruptions or delays, and this includes being unable to get to work because of bad weather. Employers however would be unwise to dock pay without a Bad Weather policy in place, as employees could bring an employment tribunal claim for unlawful deductions from wages.
In summary, we would advise all employers to implement a Bad Weather policy and to ensure that this is communicated to all staff to avoid unnecessary disruption to your business.
For help and advice on preparing staff contracts, handbooks and policies, please contact us today to book a free consultation with one of our expert employment law solicitors.
Tel: 01245 893400
Our use the Contact Backhouse page of our website.
The Backhouse Solicitors Team