Unless the employer contractually states they will provide transport for their employees, the responsibility for getting to work rests with the employee. If the employee does not get into work the employer has no obligation to pay them.
In most employment contracts the obligation to turn up to work is expressed explicitly. If not, it is certainly implied. If this obligation is breached by the employee, it must be well justified or classed as unauthorised absence. If you believe an employee is using the weather as an excuse then you should start an investigation in line with your company’s disciplinary procedure.
This is a major issue for many businesses. When snow becomes too bad schools do close unexpectedly. Whether time off is paid or unpaid depends on the employers ‘time off for dependents’ policy and any previous action taken by the employer, which could set a precedent. Under employment legislation employees have the right to take unpaid time off to manage emergency situations regarding their dependents.
Employers should take a balanced approach with their employees. You should encourage them to get to work in the safest possible way, however, do not force them to travel against government warnings, and do not threaten them with disciplinary action if they don’t get in.
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