Advice for businesses/ interruption due to snow

14th December 2010
Advice for businesses/ interruption due to snow image

Advice for businesses/business interruption/snow

The Met Office has warned that snow will be returning to many parts of the United Kingdom from 16th December, and that may mean more chaos for businesses dealing with staff who may or may not be able to travel into work.

Businesses may be able to dock pay if an employee fails to attend work or turns up late, although in some cases the employee could argue that this is an unauthorised deduction from his or her wages. The legal position may be uncertain.

It may therefore be best, for good staff relations as much as anything else, to deal with such absences in a more conciliatory way. For example it may be possible to agree that an employee can work from home, or make up the time later. The employee may agree to take the time off as unpaid leave or as part of his or her holiday entitlement.

If a business closes down its work place due to the weather, then the business should still pay its staff and the staff cannot be forced to take the time as annual leave.

Businesses must be careful not to put undue pressure on employees to come into work during poor weather conditions. Employers owe a duty of care to their staff. If the weather conditions are severe, with severe weather warnings and local authority directions to stay off the roads, then it may be unreasonable for an employer to force an employee to come into work due to the possible risk to the employee’s health and safety.

It is therefore probably a good idea to have a clear and consistent policy for such adverse weather conditions. For example staff may be told that in the event of severe weather warnings from the Met Office and requests from the local authority not to travel, that they should not attempt to travel to work until the conditions have improved.

Even if an employee can travel into work, the employee may not attend if say his or her child’s school closes due to the weather. If the employee cannot get child care at short notice, then the employee may have the right to unpaid leave to look after the child or dependant. An employee would have the right to a reasonable amount of time off to make alternative arrangements. In such circumstances businesses should seek legal advice.

If any business requires any advice on these issues then please do not hesitate to contact Daven Naghen of Maples Solicitors LLP on 01775 722261 or email

Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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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

"I think you are brilliant. You can use my comments above. You are efficient, friendly and quite clearly very good at what you do. Mainly you don’t leave people hanging around too long for." "So easy to talk to her and she understood what I wanted. She put me at ease and I cant thank her enough"

James Turner BA

James Turner was extremely helpful with our buying process. Everything went smoothly. We are very happy with the level of professionalism demonstrated by the office. Highly recommended solicitors. Will definitely do business with them again.

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 GCILEx

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

Mike Pepper gave us excellent advice. He was always most helpful and accommodating giving lucid explanations every step of the way. Thank you Mike.

Donna Sandison FCILEx

Donna has been helpful and professional every step of the way during the process. Always on hand to answer any queries and totally professional and friendly at all times.