Travel Disruptions and Employment Law

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Are employees entitled to pay if adverse weather disrupts travel?

By UK law, employees are not automatically entitled to pay if they are unable to get to work due to travel disruptions or bad weather. If your employer deducted your pay, you would possibly have the right to bring a claim on the basis of unauthorised deduction of wages, or breaching of contract to recover sums owed. It is your responsibility to get to work. If you do not show up, your employer is entitled to regard it as an unauthorised absence. 

If a worker cannot get to work on time, there is no automatic legal right for a worker to be paid for working time they have missed due to travel disruption or bad weather. 

Rights regarding travel disruption are usually outlined in employment contracts. It is up to employees to check this. 

If an unexpected disruption has terminated the arrangements of childcare, or the school has temporarily closed, you will usually be entitled to be paid for this day. If you have a child, you are permitted to take off an amount of time necessary to deal with an unexpected disruption in their normal care arrangements. This is to ensure you can look after your child in the event of an emergency. Closure of day-care, nursery or school all qualifies as an emergency.

Whilst alternative travel arrangements are possible for some people; this may be more difficult for those with disabilities. Employers need to consider how they administer adverse whether condition policies, in order not to risk discrimination issues. It is important for employers to maintain consistency and fairness in their dealings with staff.  Failure to do so may expose them to disharmony in the workplace at best and at worst, litigation in the Employment Tribunals.  

Employment regulation has changed dramatically in recent years, becoming increasingly complex and onerous to employers. If you require advice regarding an employment issue, call 0113 284 5023 or alterntiavely email

  • What happens if an employer decides to close?

    Workers who were ready, available and willing to work usually are entitled to their normal pay if an employer fully or partly closes their business, reduces hours, or if essential staff such as line managers or staff who provide access to the building are unable to get into work.  If your workplace is closed due to adverse weather e.g. heavy snow fall, your employer will stay pay you.

  • Is my employer liable if I slip on snow or ice at work?

    Your employer is required to maintain safety in the workplace, conditions for employees should be safe and free from severe injury. An employer may be liable, if such an accident occurs in the workplace and it could have been avoided.

  • What are the options if travel is disrupted due to severe weather?

    The sensible and pragmatic advice would be to consider alternatives such as allowing employees to adopt flexible working arrangements, working from home or even at another branch or site or using holidays.

    You could be offered to take paid holiday leave: If there is travel disruption, employers can ask staff to take paid holiday leave. There may be options to work flexibly; employers may as workers to work from home. If the workplace is closed, employers may ask staff to work at another workplace. Ultimately, planning ahead minimises difficulty in times of travel disruptions and adverse weather.

  • What of an employee who is suspected of abusing the system?

    If an employer has reasonable grounds to suspect that an employee may be abusing the flexibility allowed by his employer, we recommend that the employer activates a disciplinary investigation in accordance with the employer’s handbook, policy or manual.  If there are grounds for doing so, the employer should then adopt a formal disciplinary process.

  • Employment Advice from Experts:

    If you have any queries regarding employment law, it is best to contact a legal professional and seek advice. We at Ison Harrison understand the commitment and time people give to their work, and how feelings of trust and justice are important when people are dealt with by their employers.

    We are often approached by employees who feel they have been treated unfairly, or who are concerned about their position at work. Through our knowledge of employment law and understanding of tactics used in employment disputes, we can advise you on the best way to proceed with you situation. Before we give advice we make sure we listen carefully and understand your situation. 

    We deal with the negotiation of termination packages, advise on dismissal and discrimination issues, prepare and represent at employment tribunals, and help assert your rights when they are transgressed by your employer. 

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