Due to unexpected UK weather climate, the weather can affect travel arrangements from time to time and will affect an employee’s ability to get into work.  Both employees and employers should take into consideration how this will impact the workforce.

Key points to take into consideration

  • Employees should not expect to be paid for times they cannot get to work due to travel disruptions – There is no legal requirement that employers have to pay their employees for travel delays. However it may be custom practice that employers do have arrangements in place for this.  Such arrangements are usually contained within the employee’s handbook.
  • Show flexibility – If possible employers should shown signs of being flexible in regards to working hours. Handling travel disruptions when the weather is poor is a fantastic way of boosting moral if handled properly.  Especially if employees are given trust and the opportunity to work from home to save them struggling to get into the office.  An employer should consider alternative arrangements where possible.
  • Use the IT – If lots of employees are away from the office technology can be very useful in continuing business as usual. Examples include supplying laptops and smartphones to their employees.
  • Plan for the future – Employers should review relevant policies and consider how they would handle future scenarios. It may be best to put in place an ‘adverse weather’ policy to help business continue as normal in bad weather conditions.

Questions & Answers

How can employees keep any difficulties to a minimum?

  • Employees should consider how they will be getting into work. It is likely that in adverse conditions trains and buses will be running on a reduced timetable or will be running later than normal.  Car travel may be delayed further due to road closures and hazardous driving conditions.  Is it possible to plan alternative routes to get into and out of work?  Have you considered benefitting for extra commuting time?
  • Consider arrangements you have in place if you are unable to get a child into school. Is there a backup in place?
  • Are you able to make contact with your employer if you are unable to get into work or going to be late?
  • Do you have alternative working options available to you such as working from home or the opportunity to alter your working hours?
  • Have you considered how your employer will deal with your workload in your absence? Can you phone your manager and let them know where everything else?  Do you have any deadlines that you are unlikely to meet?

If a small number of employees can get into work but some cannot, but still get paid, is this fair?

While legally employees are not entitled to receive payment if they are not working, some employers realise adverse weather condition will affect the ability of people getting into the office and try to be flexible where possible.

What happens if schools are closed and parents cannot get into work?

In emergencies an employee is entitled to take time off to look after their dependents but an employee should seek to put alternative arrangements in place where possible.