Please provide clarity on payment of wages for adverse weather conditions

Posted in : Seamus Says - Employment Law Discussion on 5 January 2018

Q. "Please provide clarity on payment of wages for adverse weather conditions."

Keywords: Adverse Weather Conditions; Policies; Rights of Employers/Employees

Seamus: Absolutely. We did have those couple of days in December where there was snow and maybe people are late getting into work or some people unable to get into work at all.

Scott: We're already on storm Helena. We're on E already.

Seamus: That's it. I see various images of what's happening in New York at the minute as well. It tends to be here that when there's the slightest bit of snow that we all have difficulties getting into work.

Scott: It's a motivational issue.

Seamus: The general position is the large extent, the rights of the employees affected by the weather and things like that, it comes down to who decides the responses to the weather. It comes down to, for instance, say we're all in work and at 3:00, the employer says, "We're closing today at 3:00 because the weather is so bad," there would be an obligation of the employer taking the step to close and therefore, there would be an entitlement for the employer to their regular pay up to 5:00pm. if that's what time they work.

But if the employee came to the employer and said, "My last bus is leaving to get home today at 3:00, I can't get one later on and I have to leave early," I don't see that there would be an obligation for the employer there to pay the employee for that. Say in that, we do need to look at the motivational side of things.

Generally, where employees have made an effort to get into work, the employer would appreciate that. They might be saying we're going to have to close early, as many offices did back in December, they would be saying, "We're making the decision here," even if employees are saying, "I'm going to have to go now," the motivational aspect of it would be appreciated, I would imagine, if employers were to support their employees in terms of that.

Where there are specific times where the employer isn't able to be open, sometimes it will be in the contract that they will be able to facilitate short time working, definitely I've come across well-drafted contracts that will have terms in that and there will be an option for the employee/employer at that point to say, "We're going to short time working," basically then you're looking at your limited periods of pay in terms of that. I think it works out to £25.90 a day for your protected pay and it can be done over five days.

Scott: That only works for complete days.

Seamus: Exactly. So the circumstances might suit the employee and the employer well.

Scott: If the employer is open, ready for business and the employee just can't get in, there's no obligation.

Seamus: It's the employee's loss at that point.

Scott: Going back to those relationship-type things and maybe allowing thing to take a holiday or something like that so they don't lose any pay would be in the interests of the employer as well as the employee. So it's kind of working reasonably. There's information on adverse weather conditions on the Legal-Island website. 

 

This article is correct at 05/01/2018
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