Winter Weather and Travel Disruption

12th January 2016
Winter Weather and Travel Disruption image

Winter Weather and Travel Disruption


Whether its heavy snowfall, severe floodings and/or gale force winds, it is that time of year when the weather can cause chaos. Hence a clear policy for such circumstances can ensure that the staff know exactly what is expected of them and help minimise the disruption to your business.

Business Continuity Policy

Such a policy may set out the arrangements in adverse weather conditions to ensure so far as possible the continuity of the business. It could include provisions on when the business may have to close and what happens in such circumstances. It can include provisions on notifying staff of alternatively arrangements such as working from home, working at an alternative place or alternative hours of work and it should also give guidance to staff as to the expectations as to their attendance and the consequences thereof.

Paying staff who cannot get to work

Ordinarily staff are obliged to attend for work unless they are sick, on holiday or on maternity leave etc. Therefore the onus or starting point is that a member of staff should get to work, even in extreme weather conditions. Hence if the office is open and a member of staff is “snowed in”, the employer can treat the absence as unauthorised and refuse to pay for this time. However this approach is not necessarily good for staff morale and harmony and staff should not be pressured into risking their safety. If someone genuinely cannot make it in to work due to the weather then your business should consider the following amongst other things:-

(i) Paying the employee but insisting that the time is made up at a later date;

(ii) Agreeing that the employee can take the time off as part of paid annual leave; or

(iii)Agreeing a limited number of days per year, e.g. 3 maximum, when the employee will be paid in full for failing to attend to work due to emergencies including adverse weather (provided of course that you are satisfied that the employee either made a genuine effort to attend or the weather was simply too bad to risk travelling).

You will need to be careful in considering what to do here, as a policy that involves paying everyone may aggrieve those members of staff who did make the effort and got to work.

School Closures

If a school is closed due to the weather , then if this happened with little or no notice and alternative childcare arrangements cannot be made then this could in effect constitute an emergency giving employees a statutory right to a limited period of time off (albeit unpaid). A clear policy for such matters is likely to avoid unfairness and disagreement in the workplace.

Disciplinary Action

If you believe that an employee could have made it to work but has chosen not to then this could be a matter for a disciplinary procedure and possible disciplinary sanction. If there are genuine grounds for the employee failing to come into work then it may be helpful that
once the initial weather conditions have subsided sufficiently that you let all staff know by telephone, email etc that it is safe for them to return to work in order to reduce the risk of disciplinary concerns as this will usually prompt staff in to returning to the office.

If you need advice either as an employer or as an employee in respect of winter weather, travel disruption and attendance at work then please contact our head of employment law Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or email or visit our offices or arrange an appointment at our offices at 23 New Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 1DH.

The Will Writing Company Limited image

The Will Writing Company Limited

It has been reported that The Will Writing Company Limited, whose registered office is at Ergo House, Mere Way, Ruddington Fields Business Park, Nottingham, have ceased to practise.

If you made Wills using this company then it is probably worthwhile making contact with them in order to retrieve your Wills. Once you have your Wills you may wish to make an appointment with one of the lawyers in our Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate Team in order to review your Will to ensure it still accords with your wishes. We also offer a Will storage facility which is free of charge.

To review your Will please contact one of our lawyers in the Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate Department:-

Jane Mawer-
Jamie Dobbs-
Faye Blair-

Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.

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Gemma Mayer LLB

"I would highly recommend Maples Solicitors, especially Gemma Mayer, for any conveyancing work. The level of support and professionalism was excellent at all times. I also felt if I needed to ask or clarify anything that it was not an issue. Buying and selling a house is stressful enough, but Gemma helped me through it step by step."

Anita Toal LLB BA

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Daven Naghen LLB

"Daven provided an excellent service, from attending the first interview with me to the final court appearance. He filled me full of confidence that he would defend me to which he did and come out with an excellent outcome in view of my position that I had put myself in."

Faye Blair LLB

Faye was excellent, sensitive and acted very well to the time constraints we faced. Great service and dealt with compassion at such sad times made the process less painful very professional.

Jamie Dobbs ACILEx

Over the last forty years I have cause to deal with many law firms both in a personal and professional capacity, including some ‘top’ London Companies. In all of those dealings I have never found anyone as proactive and so willing to offer help and advice as Jamie Dobbs. During the last two years Jamie guided my parents through the completion of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Helped myself with the use of the LPA and recently dealing with Probate and Estate Administration following their death.

Mike Pepper MA

This is the second time we have used Mike Pepper at Maples Solicitors in the sale of our house. We cannot praise Mike enough for the highly efficient and professional service that he has provided us with. He is by far the best solicitor we have ever worked with, and the service that he has provided us with has gone far and beyond anything we have ever experienced. We have found the whole process to be a very relaxing experience.

Claire Smith FCILEx

Claire Smith has been amazing in every way. I highly recommend her and I am so grateful for all her help. She’s professional on all levels, reliable, extremely organised and I will be recommending her to everyone. I’m very lucky to have had her representing me and I can’t thank her enough. She is an asset to Maples. Thanks so much Claire!

Anita Zaborniak

We found it a pleasure to deal with Anita Zaborniak, she was most helpful and informative and kept us up to date with the progress of the purchase of our new home. If we were to move again we wouldn’t hesitate to use Maples again.