TUC Advice For Getting To And From Work In The Snow

9 Jan 2010

Employers should keep an eye on the weather, taking care that workers don’t get trapped at work and put at risk as the snow starts to fall. Workers should also let their employers know if they are not able to make it into work in the morning, the TUC says. With the snow causing problems on the UK’s transport network, the TUC says that it makes sense for employers to allow staff who are able to do so to work from home rather than struggle with a lengthy commute to work. Many employers already have bad weather policies which set out what is expected of staff and what they should do when snow, ice and a lack of public transport prevents them from getting into work. Any ‘snow’ policy should also cover what parents should do if their local schools close and they have no alternative means of childcare. Early last year when snow and ice affected much of the country, it was reported that some mean employers were docking the pay of their staff, despite their often valiant attempts to get into work. The TUC advises against withholding pay or forcing staff to take holiday as it fears this could cause unnecessary resentment to employees who’ve been kept away from work through no fault of their own.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Across the country, people are braving the elements to get into work. But with the snow still falling and the cold and icy weather set to stay with us for a good few days to come, we need a sensible approach to getting into work. Employers and workers must keep each other informed as to whether it’s safe, or even possible, to commute to and from work.
For many the bad weather and lack of public transport have already made their commute impossible, but many employers will have ‘bad weather’ policies in place so staff are clear as to what is expected of them. Scrooge bosses who dock pay and take away holiday are needlessly adding to their business woes by creating resentment amongst staff. Workers who have been prevented from getting to work despite their best efforts should not have to foot the bill for the bad weather conditions.’