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Blog  »  Decemeber 2015  »  When Bad Weather Disrupts Employees' Commutes - Blog
Dec 15

Posted by
Laura Murphy

When Bad Weather Disrupts Employees' Commutes

Floods, snow, ice, wind – winter weather conditions can have a detrimental effect on your staffs’ ability to get to work on time, or to get to work at all in some cases. The question is how can you manage the situation?

Below are some Top Tips to help you get through the winter season.

Employees are not legally entitled to be paid if they are delayed or unable to get to work because of travel disruption. However, it is important to be aware of any custom and practice in the organisation or contractual clause, which may override this position.

Employers should also consider the impact of deducting pay on employee morale, particularly if the employee has made every effort to get to work but the weather conditions make it impossible to get to the workplace, or the workplace is closed through no fault of the employees.

The general advice to employers is to be as flexible as possible. The handling of bad weather and travel disruption can be a real opportunity for an employer to boost staff morale and show yourself as an all round fair employer. Possible considerations might include:

  • Can you be flexible with regard to working hours or working patterns?
  • Is it possible for employees to work from home or even at a different location? 
  • Would it be possible for the employee to work back the time missed at a later date?
  • Rather than deducting pay for time missed you could offer that the employee take annual leave for the time. Whilst offering this as a solution is recommended, enforcing it without the agreement of the employee would not be best practice. 

A company policy on absence due to inclement weather should address the situation where employees are unable to attend work, due to weather-related circumstances. Having such a policy should also mean there is much less scope for confusion and disagreement. An Inclement Weather policy is contained within the Optional Sections of the Bright Contracts Handbook.

Whatever option you do go with, make sure it is clearly communicated and consistently applied to all staff. It will make managing the situation a lot easier when it does arise.

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