Do I have to go to work in the snow?

Heavy snow is expected to fall across the UK in the next few days, safety warnings have been issued for those planning on heading out in the storm, travel disruptions creating train delays and predictions of over 110,000 vehicle breakdowns are expected, it seems unlikely it will be possible for everyone to get to the office.

Even though there are several signs telling you not to go to work when the weather is bad, you still need to ask yourself ‘is my boss expecting me at work?’. 

If you think your journey will be disrupted, you should be aware of your rights if you want to take the day as holiday, call in sick or work from home depending on how flexible your workplace is.
  

If you take the day off, do you still get paid?

In most cases you are not automatically entitled to pay if you are unable to get to work because of travel disruption or bad weather. This differs between industries and gig workers and self employed individuals are usually not going to be paid, regardless of weather conditions. 

Can you take time off work if your child’s school is closed?

Yes, but this is likely to be unpaid. All employees have the right to take unpaid time off to deal with emergency situations, such as their child’s school being closed for an example, which lawyers say is likely to be considered as an emergency. This clarification however may vary depending on your workplace. 

Strictly, the day would be unpaid but some employers are more forgiving - talk to your boss.

Can you be forced to take the day as holiday, even if you do not have children?

Only with sufficient warning. The law states that you must be given a warning period of "at least" double the length of annual leave you are being asked to take.

If relevant systems are in place to allow flexible working, your employer can still ask you to work from home, or ask you to go to another workplace that is open if the business has one, according to government advice website Gov.uk.

What if your workplace is closed?

If the workplace is closed because of disruption and the employee doesn’t usually work from home, employers can’t usually deduct pay.

Employers might be able to ask staff to go to another workplace or work from home.

Ahead of any adverse weather conditions, talk to your boss, they’ll be understanding and be able to pass on the relevant advice. Good luck and stay warm! 

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