Adverse weather policy

Adverse weather policy - Centric HR
As we enter into January, and face the possibility of snow and ice, it is important to have an adverse weather policy in place to avoid any confusion on travel and expectations on employees. With a structured plan, all parties know what to do and what is expected of them to first and foremost stay safe, and to continue with their job responsibilities.
We recognise that, during periods of extreme adverse weather, or when there are significant disruptions to public transport, employees may face difficulties in attending their place of work and returning home.  A policy that outlines responsibilities and procedures for employees and line managers to follow to ensure that a fair and transparent process is in place when making decisions regarding absence relating to adverse weather conditions, is sometimes required.


Good staff communication is essential to business success. At the most basic level, employees who don’t know what’s expected of them seldom perform to their potential and this applies to all new and existing procedures. Clear and open communication ensures everyone is on the same page about objectives, direction, and expectations. It means everyone knows where they stand, and what they need to do should adverse weather arrive.

Company vehicles

Fleet managers should issue all business drivers with clear advice detailing company policy on driving in poor weather, such as snow and ice. Company car drivers must be aware of the responsibility they have to maintain company vehicles and they must regularly check tyres, oil, water, lights and other functions to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. It’s always good to be prepared when driving in winter weather conditions and you may want to consider encouraging your employees to keep anti-freeze, blankets and snow shovels in their company vehicles.

Pay entitlement

You are not automatically entitled to pay if you are unable to get to work due to bad weather and it can be at the discretion of your employer as to whether or not you get paid. However, if the entire office is closed due to the bad weather then you are entitled to pay but if you are able to get to another office location or work from home, then your employer may ask you to do this instead.

Annual leave

Employers cannot force their employees to take annual leave unless this is expressly provided for in the employment contract. If it is not expressly provided for, taking the time as annual leave can only be done with employee consent.

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Whilst staff are expected to make every reasonable effort to get to work, safety as always takes priority and it’s essential to try and find a balance between encouraging employees to make all reasonable efforts to get to work and not requiring them to take undue risks.

For further information and help on creating an adverse weather policy for your business and any other HR requirements, please contact us here.

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Sandra Berns

Centric HR was founded by Sandra Berns, a confident and versatile Human Resources and Organisational Development Practitioner with 25 years demonstrable experience and a Fellow of the CIPD. Sandra has both Operational and Strategic HR expertise across Public and Private sectors and has assisted senior teams in meeting challenging workforce objectives in many corporate environments.