Snow Days: Standard Pay or Holiday Pay?
Last year the UK was hit with unexpected heavy snow twice, which caused quite severe public transport and travel disruptions.
A lot of people had to miss work for days, and while this is okay if the whole company closes, if you are one of few who had to stay home then you might be wondering whether the pay you received was correct.
This year, you can be prepared for snow days in many ways, one of which being in the know about what you should be paid and when.
Snow Days – No Pay?
Snow days are disrupting, but losing out on days worth of pay is not what you need.
The weather isn’t down to you, and you shouldn’t be left at a disadvantage because of it.
It goes without saying that if you can’t get into work because of bad weather you should inform your employer as soon as you can.
At present, there is no legal requirement for your employer to pay you for working time if you miss part of or a whole day.
Your workplace may have a policy in place for bad weather like snow days preventing you from getting in, such as the ability to work from home.
If snow days have forced your workplace to close, and you were otherwise willing to go into work, you will usually be entitled to your usual pay.
Whatever happens, your employer should keep communication with you and make sure that they are flexible and fair.
While the snow days and bad weather persist, your employer may decide to:
- Allow you to come in a little later
- Allow you to work flexibly and make up lost time
- Offer you the chance to swap shifts or work overtime
- Work from home temporarily
- Suggest that you take time off as paid annual leave
Caring for Dependants on Snow Days
If you have dependants, you have the right to take unpaid time off in an emergency.
This could be in situations like:
- Closure of your child’s school
- Caring arrangements for a disabled relative are unavailable
- Your partner is seriously ill or injured as a result of bad weather
This time off is unpaid unless a contract or policy says otherwise.
It may be possible to agree with your employer that this time off will be taken as annual leave so you don’t miss out on pay, but this will go towards your yearly holiday allowance.
You may choose to take a day off during bad weather because of how long it would take you to get into work.
Or you might not be able to get in at all.
If this is the case, it might be easier to take the day as annual leave, especially if you have a dependant at home who you have to look after so you couldn’t work from home.
This is fine for you to do, however if you don’t want to do this you may have other options.
You should speak to your employer straight away to find what your options are.
If your employer forces you to take the day as unpaid, marking it down as a sick day or extra holiday, they may be doing so illegally.
You should talk to them first to find out why they’re doing this.
What Can I Do?
If you feel you are being treated unfairly or your concerns are not being listened to, you should raise an official grievance.
If your employer makes no allowances for snow days, or at worst dismisses you, you may be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal.
Have you experienced unfair treatment from your employer? We could help.
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