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Big freeze bonanza for employees?

2 December 2010

As large parts of the country grind to a halt, many employees are unable to get to work. Some employers are asking ‘why should we pay someone for a day they haven’t worked?’ While employees ask ‘why should we lose a day’s pay through no fault of our own?’

Except where the contract of employment states otherwise (eg for sick pay and holiday pay), there is no need to pay for days when an employee does not work. So employers can withhold pay for days that an employee does not attend because of the weather (or insist they take the day as holiday).

Over-generosity about paying non-attendees when it snows risks encouraging people not to try (compare recent school closures with almost all other businesses). We suggest the general rule should be not to pay those who do not work. Employers always have a discretion to pay – eg if the employee has really tried to attend or has managed some work by email or telephone.

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