How do you deal with employee absence in bad weather? ?Boss, there?s a river running down my street, I can't come into work. Sound familiar? Not only does adverse weather cause problems for employees who commute to work, it can result in significant financial loss to the employer, particularly if the bad weather is on-going.
Below are the answers to commonly asked questions about employee absence during adverse weather:
If an employee fails to show up for work because of bad weather do I have to pay them?
Unless an employer has a contractual obligation to provide an employee with transport to work, it is the employee's responsibility to ensure they turn up for work. So if an employee does not turn up, you do not have to pay them. However, employers should be mindful that refusal to pay staff in these circumstances is likely to damage working relations. Therefore employers need to carry out a cost/benefit analysis of the financial implications of paying staff versus the lasting impact on staff morale if they don't.
Should I force my employees to come to work?
If an employee can't travel using their normal mode of transport then they should be asked to explore alternatives. Employees should not feel pressured to risk their safety to get into work. Therefore it may be appropriate to ask the employee to work from home. If this isn't feasible then the employer should consider allowing employees to take the days off as part of their annual leave, or to pay them and ask them to make up their time at a later date.
Is it worthwhile having a ?bad weather? policy?
Yes, such a policy should set down guidelines for staff in respect of reporting procedures if they are unable to make work because of the weather. It should also specify whether they will be paid for the days they are unable to attend or whether they will be asked to take annual leave, work from home or make the time up.
I suspect that?an?employee is using the bad weather as an excuse for not coming in, can I dismiss them?
If you believe an employee is lying about being unable to come to work and you have evidence to support this then you should deal with this matter in accordance with your disciplinary policy.
If you have queries regarding this or any other employment issue get in touch with the employment team.