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Snow work, snow pay?

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For some, waking up to the sight of snow means a day of fun and excitement; a day off work. But before you get your sledge out, have you thought about how it will affect your employment and what your rights are?

For one, employers are not generally legally obliged to pay you if bad weather means you cannot get into work. No work generally means no pay. However you should check your contract of employment and internal policies, as some contracts and policies may contain provisions for payment in adverse weather. If not, then this should not mean that you try and ski to work. If it really is that bad then you may want to consider contacting your employer to try and come to some type of arrangement. Will your employer use discretion to pay you anyway? Could you work from home by the fire? Could you take it as a holiday?

What about if it is not you causing the problem? What if you can make it to work but your place of work is shut? In this situation you are generally entitled to pay, but again, your contract of employment or internal policies may state differently.

If your child’s school is closed at short notice and you have no option but to stay at home and look after your children (and build snowmen) then this may be classed as an ‘emergency’ situation and you may be able to take unpaid leave. However, it is a good idea to keep your employer informed and to try and make other arrangements if possible.

If you are snowed in and concerned about your employment situation then you can contact Stephensons Solicitors LLP for some advice on 0175 321 6399.

By employment graduate paralegal, Kate Hancock

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