Managing Employee Absence due to Snow

28 Feb

With the ‘Beast from the East’ affecting many parts of the UK, employers should be prepared for an influx of employees struggling to attend work.

Flexibility is key in ensuring that your workplace continues to run smoothly despite such disruptions.

Employees Statutory Rights

Where there are school closures or problems with transport, employees have the statutory right to unpaid time off to deal with emergencies involving a dependant, which includes children. This time off is so the employees can make suitable arrangements for the children’s care and is normally not expected to be more than a day or two days.

However,  emergency leave is not entitled where the employee knows about the situation beforehand. In these cases, they will have to take annual leave or possibly parental leave. This is also the case if an issue, such as a school closure, last for a longer period.

Where the weather conditions render employees unable to get to work or result in your work premises being closed, employers can suggest for those who can work from home to do so. However, if working from home is not an option, employers can choose to give employees unpaid leave; offer them to take annual leave; or get them to make up for lost hours on another day.

In addition, employers should always check their employment contracts and handbooks to ensure consistency with their business’s policies.

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