Businesses must prepare for festive travel disruption

27 Dec 2019

As well as good cheer, the festive season often hits businesses with poor weather conditions and travel disruption, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has warned.

November brought record levels of rainfall and flooding, while 2018's 'Beast from the East' saw snow bring the UK to a standstill.

These severe weather conditions during the winter months mean employers need to adapt working arrangements or close workplaces. ACAS says that although there is no automatic legal right for a worker to be paid for any working time that they have missed because of travel disruption or bad weather, there are exceptions.

If employer-provided transport is cancelled because of bad weather or travel disruption and a worker was otherwise ready, willing and available to work, the worker should be paid for any working time they have missed, according to ACAS.

Also, if an employer decides to close a workplace, workers who were ready, available and willing to work will usually be entitled to their normal pay.

ACAS says: 'Some contracts and workplace policies will say what workers need to do in special circumstances like these. This might include things like working at the nearest accessible workplace, doing other duties or working from home.'

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has outlined further advice on preparing for severe weather. It recommends ensuring that guttering is cleared of leaves and debris; making sure you have an adequate supply of grit and a shovel ready; and keeping up-to-date with the weather forecast.

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