In light of recent weather conditions, the BBC has published an article entitled It’s snowing – can I refuse to go to work? The article examines workers’ rights when faced with travel disruption and bad weather, exploring a number of variants including school closures and freezing offices in determining the right to stay at home.
The author correctly observes that the position depends on the employer’s contractual or policy-led agreements with staff. The default starting position is that automatic entitlement to remuneration does not arise when an employee is unable to get to work.
Employees are entitled to be paid when their workplace is closed as a result of the bad weather. However, an employer has the right to request that work is performed from home (if possible) when the workplace is closed. Employees should never assume that they are not required to travel to work because of snow.
It is advisable that employers should clarify this issue by implementing an adverse weather and travel disruption policy. Such a document can cater for situations in which employees cannot make it to work, require flexible working alternatives (such as working from home), and pay arrangements when adverse weather is disruptive.
"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."