Health and Safety Services for SMEs in Hampshire.
Safety Nudges

What to do when adverse weather affects work

Published by Safety Net Team

February 23, 2022

What to do when adverse weather affects work

Closure of the workplace

Weather conditions, or the after effects of extreme weather, may lead to a complete closure of the workplace or separate office locations. Unless there is a contractual right to be placed on unpaid lay off, staff are entitled to be paid in full for any hours they would have worked had the workplace been open. If the organisation chooses to open later or close earlier because of the weather conditions, employees are also entitled to be paid for this time even though they have carried out less work than normal.

Staff travelling into work

Staff are expected to make every reasonable effort to get to work, even if unable to arrive on time, unless they are notified in advance that they should not travel to work. Lateness does not have to be paid for as normal, although the organisation may wish to agree with the employee to make up the time lost to ensure their pay is not docked.

Where staff are unable to make it in to work and their workplace is open for business, they are not entitled to be paid unless their contract says otherwise. However, this is a harsh stance to take, as the absence isn’t due to their actions and is likely to be because of travel or safety reasons. There are options that can be considered by the organisation. The first is to consider allowing employees to take short-notice annual leave for this period to ensure they are still receiving full pay, although they will use up some of their holiday entitlement. Other options include using banked lieu hours or making up the time at a later date.

Working from home

Allowing staff to work from home during periods of bad weather can allow them to continue working and receiving their normal salary despite workplace closure. Putting plans in place to allow for this in advance will help should the time come, such as transitioning staff from desktop to laptop computers and asking them to take them home should the forecast be very bad.

Outside disruptions

If the workplace remains open and the employee is able to travel to work, there may be circumstances where the employee is absent from work because their childcare arrangements have been disrupted by the weather. Employees have a statutory right to a reasonable amount of time off to deal with emergency situations involving dependants and this will cover the breakdown in care arrangements. This time off is usually unpaid, although this will depend on the organisation’s policy.

You may also like

Related Safety Nudges

June 18th, 2024

Food Temperature Control

Poor temperature control is the most common cause of food poisoning outbreaks, prompting the development of legislation to...

Read more
June 18th, 2024

Food Safety

Food safety is the protection of consumers from harm from food. Compliance with food safety legislation — including...

Read more
May 20th, 2024

Mental Health at Work

The significance of mental health concerns within the workplace cannot be overstated: statistics suggest that one in six...

Read more
May 14th, 2024

Coping with Stress

It’s hardly surprising that stress has become an unavoidable aspect of modern life for many individuals. However, there...

Read more
April 19th, 2024


Asbestos Asbestos, a collective term for a variety of fibrous minerals, was once extensively utilized due to its...

Read more
April 18th, 2024

Violent at Work

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines violence as any instance where an individual is subjected to abuse,...

Read more

Stay up to Date with the Latest Nudges

Receive business critial safety nudges, sent straight to your inbox.


Have a Health & Safety Problem? Speak to us, we can help!

Call Us

02392 005 155

Write to Us