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HR day to day – employee non attendance due to snow

Question: Do I have pay an employee if they could not come in due to the snow?

Answer: Employees have a duty to come to work so if they do not make it then this could be classed as an unauthorised absence which, technically, you are not obliged to pay them for. Whether you are able to deduct the money, without it being classed as an illegal deduction from wages, is the difficulty here and will depend on the reasons the employee could not make it in to the office.

If the reason was because the employee’s child’s school was closed then this would be classed as emergency leave, and as this leave is unpaid then it is ok to deduct the money.

If however the employee just could not make it in due to the snow, then there would need to be something in their contract of employment that allows you to make a deduction in this specific instance. If there is no such clause then making a deduction may make the employee to submit a tribunal claim that the deduction was illegal.

The ideal solution is for the employee to work from home on those days they could not make it in. If that is not possible then either get them to agree to it being unpaid / taken as holiday or advise that it will be paid but they will be expected to make the time up at a later date. You can not force them to take it as holiday, however.

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We can help you hire and retain the best employees, manage your employees more successfully, and improve employee motivation. Whatever your HR outsourcing needs, In2HR can assist any company within the Thames Valley areas, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxon and Surrey. So why not contact us today.

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