Can’t Get to Work Because of the Snow? Offers Advice on Your Employment Rights, if Your Employer Decides Not to Pay You

Share Article

Leading recruitment website offers top advice from Jobsite’s legal expert Philip Landau on workers employment rights if unable to make it to work due to the snow.

The winter weather forecast is not good. Snow has already arrived in certain parts of the country and forecasters are predicting it could be a harsh winter. The chances are that at some point this winter many UK workers will struggle to get to work – Jobsite helps answer questions such as are you still entitled to be paid? And could you even be disciplined?

  • Do I have a right to be paid?

Some employers will have ‘bad weather’ policies so it is worth checking this in the first instance. A generous employer may provide for you to still be paid if bad weather genuinely stops you from making it into work, or there may be a collective agreement in place covering this position. In the absence of such a policy, you are at the whim of your employer as to whether your pay is docked if you do not turn up for work.

  • Can I suggest alternatives to my employer?

Yes. In fact the advisory conciliation service, ACAS has long recommended the following:

  • You could offer to make up lost hours by working additional unpaid overtime or different shift-patterns.
  • You could also offer to work from home which is especially feasible where you are able to log into computer systems remotely or where you work involves a lot of telephone use.
  • If there is a faster direct route to work which is more expensive than usual, you could invite your employer to meet this additional cost if they insist you should be there.

Employers are not obliged to agree to any of the above.

  • What if I can manage to get to work, but school closures prevent me from doing so due to child care issues?

Although you would have the right to unpaid leave if you had to arrange emergency childcare arrangements, there is no right to actually be paid in these circumstances. Your employer may still be prepared to pay you for your time off if you can work from home or you agree to make up the hours.

  • Can my employer force me to take a day off as holiday?

Yes. The general position is that your employer may require you to take annual leave on particular days by giving the appropriate notice. The law states that you must be given warning that is the equivalent of twice the length of the leave. Such notice should specify the day or days on which leave is required to be taken and such notice must be at least twice the period of leave it requires the worker to take.

For example, if your employer requires you to take a day’s leave, you must be given 2 days advanced notice. There are exceptions to where your employer has to give you notice, and this mainly applies where your holiday entitlement exceeds the statutory minimum of 28 days (including bank holidays).

  • Can my employer force me to take unpaid leave?

Your employer can force you to take the time as unpaid leave as long as this right is reserved in your contract of employment. If your employer went ahead without this contractual right, it would be considered an “unlawful deduction of wages”. It may be wise to try and reach agreement with your employer though, as opposed to using up your holiday entitlement.

  • Could I be disciplined?

This is possible if you do not inform your employer of your whereabouts or do not make a sufficient effort to get into work. For example, if all your colleagues have made it in and you have not, questions will undoubtedly be asked. As long as you do not take unreasonable advantage of the situation, this is unlikely to turn into a disciplinary matter.

  • What if my workplace is closed due to bad weather?

In these circumstances, you are entitled to be paid in full and your employer cannot require you to take the time as annual leave. In addition, your employer cannot require you to take the time as annual leave.

Jobsite’s legal expert Philip Landau from London law firm Landau Zeffertt Weir concludes, “As can be seen, there is no single, standard approach on workers employment rights in regards to snow. You should hope that your employers will understand the difficulty you have in genuinely dire weather situations. The general accepted guidance is that whether you are paid or not, you should not put yourself in danger by travelling in dangerous conditions.”

For more careers advice go to

  • ends -

For more information, please contact:
Vicky Taylor                                                    
Jobsite UK (Worldwide) Ltd.
Tel: 0844 561 9156

About Jobsite
Jobsite was launched as the UK’s first commercial multi-sector online recruitment site in 1995 and has continued to go from strength to strength, to become one of the UK’s leading job boards, posting thousands of new jobs every day. Through extensive partnerships with the Daily Mail, Metro (London), Evening Standard, Northcliffe papers, Johnston Press, Clyde & Forth and Aberdeen Press & Journal, Jobsite reaches over 65% of the UK population. Jobsite’s unique targeting of passive and active candidates, through their network of sector and partner sites, helps them to find candidates that other job boards can’t – with 26% of their candidates using them exclusively. Jobsite’s aim is to take the pain out of job hunting by making finding a new job quick and easy. In their quest to become the UK’s best known online recruitment brand, Jobsite launched the largest ever advertising campaign by a UK job board in 2008 with the tagline ‘our job is searching for your job.’ The campaign continues in 2013, full details of the brand campaign are available to view here: In an extension to this brand awareness activity Jobsite become the main club sponsor of Portsmouth FC in 2009 to reach new audiences nationwide.

Jobsite is part of Evenbase a global digital recruitment group which includes flagship brands such as Jobrapido, Broadbean, Jobsite and OilCareers. Their portfolio currently spans 55 countries, includes a network of over 60 recruitment sites and employs more than 400 people. We have offices in North America, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and Australia, with aggressive plans in place for further expansion. Evenbase is part of A&N Media (, the consumer media division of DMGT plc.

About Philip Landau
Jobsite have partnered with specialist employment law solicitor Philip Landau, to bring expert advice on your rights in all key areas of your working life. Philip Landau is a solicitor and partner, specialising in employment law, in the London legal firm Landau Zeffertt Weir.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Vicky Taylor
0844 561 9156
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website