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Bad Weather: Employers Responsibilities Regarding Paying Staff

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The severity of the winter weather has prevented many employees from getting to work -   leaving employers under resourced and potentially out of pocket.

Whilst business owners are under no legal obligation to pay absent staff in such situations, many choose to do so. Alternatively, they could offer unpaid leave, ask for the lost hours to be made up - or allow for the time to be taken as paid holiday leave.

Conversely companies that decide to close due to the weather are obliged to pay staff their normal rate of pay for the full period of the shutdown.

For those businesses that remain open, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the workplace is as safe as possible. This duty of care extends to preventing falls and accidents due to potential dangers from snow and ice. Failure to address potential risks can lead to injury and result in a possible claim.

To avoid confusion and unnecessary costs, companies are advised to implement an ‘adverse weather policy’ which addresses the issues that occur and clearly sets out both employee and employer responsibilities.

These include:

  • The firm’s operating procedures in the event of bad weather
  • The financial implications for staff who are unable to make it to work
  • Alternative provisions available to employees
  • Staff responsibilities
  • Business responsibilities

To discuss your firm’s responsibilities in the event of bad weather, please contact Barry Warne on 01142521437 or email Barry on

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