February 26, 2014

Be prepared for bad weather

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says that construction employers may want to review policies and procedures to help their businesses keep running when bad weather strikes.

In guidance issued on 13 January, the FMB said: “Employees are obliged to attend work in terms of their contracts of employment. This applies even in extreme weather conditions”.

“Therefore, under UK employment law, you would be within your rights to refuse to pay an employee who cannot make it into work because they are ‘snowed in’ or because public transport has been cancelled due to the weather”. “However, if they close the site, then employers have to pay or make some kind of arrangement with employees.”

The FMB also said that it would be sensible to introduce an adverse weather conditions policy or amend absence management policies, for example by putting in place a procedure for employees to notify an appropriate person by a certain time if they were having difficulty getting to work. It said such policies should also take into consideration the health and safety or employees.

The guidance added that employers should clarify whether employers would be paid for days when weather prevented them reaching work.

Palmers’ employment team can advise on drafting of or updating policies and procedures to make clear employees’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities.

Employers also need to aware that such policies and procedures, and changes to them, will only be of value if employees are told about and understand them.

For more information, please contact us.