Managing Adverse Weather

Sometimes it can be impossible or dangerous to travel to work because of extreme adverse weather such as heavy snow, industrial action affecting transport networks or major incidents affecting travel or public safety. This guide will help assist you in such events.

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Adverse weather graphic

Managing adverse weather

The following policy applies when it becomes impossible or dangerous for you to travel to work because of extreme adverse weather such as heavy snow, industrial action affecting transport networks or major incidents affecting travel or public safety. We recognise in these circumstances a flexible approach to working arrangements may be necessary as you may face difficulties getting into work. We have a responsibility to protect your health and safety whilst keeping the Company running as effectively as possible.

Travelling to work...

You should make a genuine effort to report for work at your normal time. This may include leaving extra time for the journey and/or taking an alternative route. Alternative forms of travel should be considered where appropriate and safe.

If you are unable to attend work on time or at all, you should telephone your Manager / Director, before your normal start time on each affected day. Likewise, you should check the situation throughout the day in case it improves. Information is likely to be available from local radio stations, the police or transport providers on the internet. If conditions improve sufficiently, you should report this to your Manager / Director and attend work unless told otherwise.

Alternative work arrangements

If you are absent from work for any of the above reasons, it is likely that you will be required to work from home, where possible, or from an alternative place of work, if available.  

You are required to discuss and agree this with your Manager / Director when you telephone to notify them of your difficulty in travelling to work.   

If you work from home, you will receive normal pay for that day.

Absence and Pay

If you are absent from work for any of the reasons mentioned in this section and have not agreed with your Manager / Director that you can work from home, you will not generally be entitled to be paid for that time. For example, if you are not able to travel directly after a period of holiday due to adverse weather.

What to do?

  • Be reasonable and consider Becky’s Pie I.E. Would it work for the person, would it work for the team and would it work for the business?  If the answer is NO then you need to rethink

  • Ensure you factor in H&S and risk assessments: if your job involves working on a roof then it is likely that any risk assessment and insurance policy will not approve working in a Force 9 Storm etc.

  • Ensure you are clear of the government and any H&S relevant advice

  • If your people can work from home then agree this and make sure they take available equipment home in advance for the next day to avoid travel

  • If your team can not deliver normal work from home are their other key elements of the job (CPD / audit / records or other) that they could do for some or all of the time. Think creatively – there maybe a review you have been meaning to suggest that can be started from home?

  • If your team don’t have facilities to work from their individual home check with the team and see if anyone can have others to work with them at their home instead (if they live nearby – to avoid travel)

  • If your business is such that critical staff ratios require staff to be on location, then consider what arrangements can be made to minimise the risk of travel: - could people stay with friends to minimise the journey on Thursday, - is there a Premier Inn nearby you could book individual rooms to ensure staff don’t have to travel or other options?

  • Could you stagger work times or adjust rotas or opening times to minimise travel (especially during the high tide times)?

  • Could you operate reduced opening or offer a call helpline and avoid client meetings or home visits on that day?

  • If someone has more than four days of holiday left for 2023, perhaps it would seem reasonable to ask them to take some of the storm day as a holiday, if there is no work they can do from home and you or they consider there are no other options – check if you have a clause that allows you to apply this in the contractual terms?

  • Ensure you speak to the affected staff and do not make assumptions or jump to conclusions on what is reasonable without first hearing from the staff.  To automatically enforce an unpaid day of absence would not be best practice and could have wider implications.


If you would like a conversation on how best to approach the impact of the storm on your people and your business get in touch on 747559.

Take care and see you on the other side!