Snowed in? Then don’t expect to get paid, warn bosses

Feb 22 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Workers tempted to use this week’s snowfalls across large parts of Britain as an excuse to bunk off should beware – more than half of UK bosses refuse to pay staff who do not make it into work because of extreme weather.

Improved transport links and greater access to remote working technology means arguing that snowdrifts or blizzards are preventing you from coming into work simply will not wash with most employers, argued employment advice provider Croner.

When the weather causes disruption employers are often left counting the cost of lost hours and productivity.

But a poll by Croner has suggested that more than half of employers – 52 per cent – felt adverse weather was insufficient grounds on itself for taking paid time off.

Richard Smith, Croner employment law expert, said: “Come rain, hail or shine, all staff have a contract with their employer to show up for work each day.

“Although not a legal requirement, having an ‘adverse weather policy’ could help in certain situations to avoid conflict or confusion should an employee be late for work or fail to attend all together,” he added.

While employers could legally refuse to pay employees for any missed time, they might be better advised in the interest of good staff relations to consider options such as allowing employees to take the time as annual leave, providing home-working solutions or allowing them to make up the time lost, he suggested.

“They could also consider the benefits of paid leave as a goodwill gesture to employees, which can help boost morale, motivation and loyalty. Forty-eight percent of employers we surveyed are already doing this and should be making staff aware of this extra perk,” he said.