How to manage bad weather in your workplace

Liz Chiva

HR Director

Do we need to pay staff if they are unable to get to work because of bad weather?

There is no legal right for staff to be paid by an employer for travel delays. However, you may have contractual or custom and practice arrangements in place for this, or you may wish to pay them.

What are my options if I don’t want to pay staff who are unable to get to work?

  • Not deducting pay but letting staff make up the time at a later date.
  • Advising staff that any absence from work will be treated as annual leave entitlement.
  • Treat any absence from work as special unpaid leave (in this case, pay will reduce accordingly to take account of the hours/days not worked).
  • Permit staff to work from home or otherwise work remotely where possible.

If some staff manage to get into work but others can’t but still get paid, is that fair?

Employees are not legally entitled to receive payment if they are not at work.

Most staff will make every effort to try and get into work however for some it will not be possible. It can be frustrating for those who can get to work while others can't but not all situations are the same. You can decide what is fair and reasonable.

What happens if schools are closed and parents can’t come to work?

In emergency situations an employee is entitled to take unpaid time off to look after children and other dependants. It's important to point out that this would be classed as ‘Time Off for Dependents’ and as such an employee is entitled to statutory time off. This is unpaid leave although an employee may choose to take it as annual leave.

We are here to help. Contact the HR team on 0161 476 8276 or email

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