UK weather warning: what are your employee rights when it floods?

The UK is preparing for more rain this week, with the Met Office issuing yellow weather warnings.

People are warned to expect delays on the roads and possible rail and air travel cancellations.

But what does this mean for workers?

I can’t get into work because of the floods. Does my employer have to pay me?

No. Employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to attend work despite any severe transport disruption or road closures.

If this isn’t possible, the employer is entitled to regard such absence as unauthorised.

My child’s school is closed – can I take the day off work?

You are entitled to take a reasonable amount of emergency unpaid time off work to take care of your children if there is an unexpected disruption in their normal care arrangements.

However, it would be expected for you to make alternative arrangements for their care instead of taking time off to look after them.

My workplace has closed for the day because of the weather. Does my employer have to pay me?

Unless your contract has a provision allowing for unpaid lay-off, your boss will still have to pay you if your workplace is closed because of flooding; this also cannot be marked down as a holiday.

My home is flooded – what should I do about work?

You are not automatically entitled to be paid if you need to take time off work to deal with the damage caused by your home being flooded.

It is at your employer’s discretion to continue to pay you – as long as you make the time up at a later date.

This information is courtesy of Nelsons solicitors.

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