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What Are The Rules Around Snow Days?

March 5th, 2018

With much of the UK experiencing snow this week – and plenty of parts of the country having had snowy conditions earlier in the winter as well – more and more of us are asking what the rules are when it comes to snow days.

As a business, do you have an obligation to close if it snows? Can workers refuse to come in? Because it’s not a scenario we encounter all that often in the UK, you may have a few questions.

The BBC recently compiled a list of the frequently asked questions about snow days, which may help clear up some of the confusion.

One questions that many employees have is whether they’ll get paid if they don’t go to work – the answer is that it depends. In most instances, businesses will be understanding about travel disruption and will usually find a way to make everything work for both parties.

This could involve an agreement that you’ll make the time up at a later date or that you can work from home. If your employer usually arranges your travel to work and this is disrupted, you should still be paid, Acas states.

As an employer, you’re not allowed to force people to take a day of holiday if you want to close your business. In this case, you have to pay them. People with children should also not expect to have time off if their child’s school is closed. While most employers are understanding, there is no rule that says you should be paid if you take a day off because you don’t have childcare.

With the Met Office issuing red and amber weather warnings across various parts of the UK this week due to the snow, strong winds and in some cases freezing rain, it’s likely that a lot of people will struggle to get to work in the coming days.

If you have any queries over employment law, it’s worth contacting employment solicitors to get specialist advice.


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