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What are my rights at work when it snows?

After the snow day yesterday you may be wondering what will happen when you go back to work on Monday. You need not worry and hopefully you will be able to come to some agreement with your employer, but if you can’t this may answer the questions that arise.

I wasn’t able to get into work because of the snow. Will I still get paid or can my Employer deduct money from my wages?

If you cannot get to work and your Employer is open for business then you are not automatically entitled to be paid, which means that you could lose pay for the day.

The only circumstances when you have the right to be paid is if there is something in your Contract or in another Agreement with the Employer that expressly says that you will be paid even if you cannot attend. This is unlikely but worth checking if an issues does arise.

If you have no right to be paid it is advisable to talk to your Employer or Manager to see if you can reach an agreement with them to, for example, make up the time at a later date.

If however they refuse then unfortunately there is little that you can do.

Can my employer make me take the day off as holiday?

If your Employer wants you to take the day as holiday and you agree this is ok, if however you do not agree your Employer cannot force you to take holiday as you are entitled to a minimum notice period.

If your Employer wants to make you take holiday at a specific time they must give you at least twice the length of notice as the leave. For example if they want you to take one day they must give you two days notice.

However the rules are different if you are entitled to more than the legal minimum of 5.6 weeks a year or 28 days, including public holidays, then your employer can make you take leave without giving you any notice.

What happens if my Employer closed the place where I work?

If your Employer makes the decision to close then you are entitled to be paid and you cannot be required to take the time as annual leave.

You could however be required to work from home or at another location.

I could get to work but my children’s school closed and I had no other childcare.

You have the right to have unpaid leave to look after children or other dependents in an emergency. School closures due to snow would be considered an emergency.

The amount of time that you can have off depends on what would be reasonable to make alternative arrangements.

Following heavy snow on the first day that the school is closed you would reasonably have the first day off but the second may not be reasonable as your Employer could argue that you had a day to make alternative arrangements.


Ultimately the best advice is to talk to your Employer and try to reach an agreement, if this is not possible and you are concerned you should seek legal advice.


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The information contained in this blog post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time it is written. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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