Written by SALLY-ANN HALL-JONES

With the temperature dropping and the impending warnings of snow on its way, we thought we’d take a moment to explain your responsibility as an employer when it comes to managing the temperature of the working environment and the expectations around adverse weather conditions.

 

Temperature in the workplace – the facts

  • A reasonable working temperature is usually at least 16°C, or 13°C for strenuous work (unless other laws require lower temperatures).
  • You may have to carry out a thermal risk assessment to find out if you have a reasonable workplace temperature.
  • As an employer, you must provide heaters where necessary.
  • Supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where necessary.

Adverse weather – the facts

  • If the weather is bad – you are not automatically entitled to pay if your employees can’t get to work. If the workplace is open, employees should make the effort to get to work if they can. As an employer, you should not encourage employees to put themselves at risk, but if an employee cannot get in then you are not obliged to pay them. You may not want to dock pay and there are alternative options available for example: introducing “snow days” where absence due to bad weather is limited to a number of days and is paid for, working from home or permitting staff to make up the time upon their return etc.
  • You should have a clear policy so employees know what the expectation is in terms of getting to work particularly in extreme circumstances.
  • If you choose to close the business, and your employees have turned up to work, then you are entitled to pay your employees for a full day of work. As an alternative, you could look at other options like the employee taking holiday hours or working back the time at a later date.
  • Be flexible where you can – maybe you could agree to temporarily altering working hours to minimise disruptions? Can your employees work from home?
  • Top tip: plan ahead – misunderstandings often lead to conflict so be clear.

Can we help?

We can help you survive the cold snap with our Adverse Weather Policy that will protect you and covers all of the above, so please contact us and we can support you or chat through any concerns you may have by emailing: info@realityhr.co.uk or call us on: 01256 328428