People in Britain can legally take time off work because of snow

How you can legally take time off work because of the snow

These are your rights

As Bristol braces itself for Storm Emma as the Beast from the East moves across the South West, many workers will be wondering what their rights are when it comes to taking time off.

The Met Office has warned that rural communities are likely to be cut off by heavy snow showers in parts of Britain as the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ blows in.

Meanwhile, authorities have warned of the potential risk to life with parts of the country set to feel colder than the Arctic Circle this week. Power cuts, mobile phone service disruption, and delays to road, rail and air transport are also expected.

But there is a silver lining under all the snow; if your place of work is forced to close because of the inclement weather – you’ll still probably get paid.

According to “If the workplace is closed because of disruption and the employee doesn’t usually work from home, employers can’t usually deduct pay.”

This means if snowstorm Emma brings enough snow to close offices, employees will still receive pay for the time they spend home making snowmen and snow angels.

And, if your office is still open but your child’s school is closed due to the weather, employees legally have the right to time off, as this is considered an official emergency, as discussed on

“If an employee’s child’s school is closed or their normal childcare arrangements are disrupted, they could have the right for time off to look after them,” the website reads.

However, time off to care for children may or may not be paid, as the government website states: “your employer may pay you for time off to look after dependants but they don’t have to.”

But with blizzards, lightning, freezing rain and gales all expected to hit Britain this week, and safety warnings issued for those planning on heading out in the storm, taking the day off from work seems like a pretty good idea.

And as train delays are reported and predictions of over 110,000 vehicle breakdowns are expected, it seems unlikely it will be possible to get to the office anyway. Stay warm!

So what do you think?

Tell us in the comments.

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