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Bad Weather: Charities’ Responsibilities Regarding Paying Staff

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Winter weather often prevents employees from getting to work - leaving charities under resourced and potentially out of pocket.

Whilst charities 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, those that decide to close due to adverse weather conditions are obliged to pay their people their normal rates for the full period of the shutdown.

Those that remain open 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 such risks can lead to injury and result in a possible claim.

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

These include:

  • The 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 requirements
  • The charity’s requirements

To discuss your charity’s responsibilities in the event of bad weather, please contact Lauren Fulcher on 0114 252 1410 or email Lauren on

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