Employers have been urged to be flexible during the harsh weather conditions and not force staff to “risk life and limb” getting to work.
As the cold snap continues, with up to 40cm of snow forecast overnight for some parts of the UK, employers have been encouraged to be more aware of staff needs and to allow them greater flexibility over working hours.
Rebecca Clake, organisation and resourcing adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “Employers should make clear to employees that they should not risk life and limb to get to work, and be understanding if employees need to leave early to avoid getting stranded unnecessarily on their way home – particularly if conditions worsen during the working day.”
She added if staff were unable to get in to work and could not work from home, employers must be consistent in their approach about whether they were granted special leave or required to take annual leave.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned the cost of staff absenteeism due to snow could reach at least £230m.
Meanwhile, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned employers against withholding pay or forcing staff to take holiday if they miss work because of the snow.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Scrooge bosses who dock pay and take away holiday are needlessly adding to their business woes by creating resentment among staff. Workers who have been prevented from getting to work despite their best efforts should not have to foot the bill for the bad weather conditions.”
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By Daniel Thomas
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