January 19, 2013

Employee rights during the UK snow chaos

With the recent snowfall causing chaos across the nation this week and the likelihood of further snow to come we’ve put together this useful guide to your rights as an employee during these times. The Employment Rights Act 1996 was created for a reason and it is there to serve you, here are some common questions along with their answers/the law.

If my employer is forced to close the business due to extreme conditions will I still be paid?

An employer should pay an employee their normal wages during this period, unless otherwise stated in a contract of employment which allows for unpaid lay-off, or if the employee agree to being laid off without pay.

Does my employer have to pay me if I’m unable to get into work because of extreme weather conditions?

Even during extreme weather conditions, it is an employees responsibility to get to work (unless the employer has a contractual obligation to provide transport for employees to and from the place of work).

However, many employers now have an Adverse Weather policy which clarify whether payment will be made or not if an employee is unable to attend work due to adverse weather.  So be sure to check this out as this could be the case and you don’t need to worry as much when the snow comes.

My children’s school is closed and I’m unable to get childcare at such short notice.

All employees have the right by law to unpaid leave to look after children or other dependents in an emergency (yes, a school closing at short notice is likely to be considered an emergency.)

Top tips for handling the snow chaos

  • Be sure to keep your employer informed as soon as a problem arises and all throughout the day!
  • Inform your employer as soon as you know you won’t be able to get in to work, then go over your options.
  • Explain why you are unable to travel and ask them what you should do i.e work from home, try a later train etc.
  • Last but not least, be sure to ask them how this will affect your pay.


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    About Les Warburton


    Les Warburton is the Managing Director and of Net Recruit, a UK based online recruitment company.