What if my staff can’t get to work?

Extreme weather conditions bring all sorts of problems. One of the most significant issues for business owners is that of employee absence and payment. Here is a brief guide.

What if an employee can’t get to work? 

Regarding pay, you are under no obligation to pay the employee if they can’t get to work, even if it’s no fault of their own. 

However, if you do pay for such missed days, make sure all employees are treated the same. 

Are there other options?

You can agree on a short-term annual leave request with the employee or, when applicable, employees can work from home. 

You could also agree with employees that they can make up the time. 

It’s up to you to agree on the right course of action with the people you employ and it’s important to be fair to all involved. 

What if I can’t open the business, the place of work? 

In this case, your employees are entitled to full pay so long as they are able (or would be able) to get to work. 

What if I decide to send people home during the day? 

Then you will still have to pay people for the full day. 

Can I make employees take holidays for days missed due to bad weather? 

If you want to ‘enforce’ a holiday, you must give notice that is equal to twice the length of time that you want to be taken off. This means for one day’s holiday you must give two days notice. 

What about employees with children who have to stay at home due to school closures?

There is no legal obligation to pay employees if schools close and they have to stay at home to mind children.

However, again, at your discretion, it may be best that you consider agreeing on a holiday or the employee making the time up.

Please note that parents are entitled to unpaid time off if the closure of the school is the only reason they couldn’t make it into work.

READ MORE: Health & safety issues facing employees in emergency weather conditions.