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

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