Ice weather warning: What if I can’t get to work because of snow and dangerous roads? Your rights explained

THE UK is facing the coldest night of winter so far as a -12C bone chiller swoops in.

And Brits in parts of northern England and Scotland have already been blanketed in the white stuff – with more set to fall in coming days.

The Met Office has urged Brits to take care as showers moving south-eastwards fall on sub-zero surfaces leading to icy patches and risk of slips, falls and accidents on the road.

Many could be left unable to get into work due to shoddy conditions – with some facing missed wages.

Here, we break down your rights as the cold hits.

Will I get paid if I can't get to work?

Whether employees get paid on days when they cannot make it into the office depends on their contract, head of employment at Lime Solicitors Neha Thethi explains.

Many employers will have a "bad weather policy" mandating weather-related paid leave.

However, employees are not automatically entitled to a wage if they’re unable to get to work because of the snow.

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Employers might instead ask stuck Brits to work from home, take annual leave or make up the time later.

Can I legally leave work if it is too cold?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers always have a duty of care to ensure their workers are safe.

While there is no minimum workplace temperature that must legally be met, there are other measures that should be enforced.

For example, outdoor workers should be provided with appropriate clothing to help them stay warm.

If an employer can’t comply with the law and guarantee their workforce will be safe, staff cannot be required to come into work.

I've been told to work from home due to weather, should my employer pay my heating bill?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become the norm.

When working from home, employees will be using their own heating, lighting and broadband.

But sometimes it is challenging to quantify the amount used for work purposes.

Employers are not legally required to reimburse employees for such costs – but you may be able to claim tax relief if working from home regularly.

Brits can claim £6 a week from April 6 2020, or the exact amount of the extra costs they have incurred above the weekly amount.

Evidence – such as receipt, bills or contracts – must be provided and this only applies to people who work from home more often than not.

My workplace has shut for the day due to weather – will I still get paid?

If your employer has closed the office because it is inaccessible they should still pay your daily wage.

Withholding pay when employees are unable to work through no fault of their own could be considered as an unauthorised deduction from wages.

But some employment contracts contain a temporary 'lay-off' clause.

In this case, employers can refuse to give the full amount of pay to their employees for a certain amount of time.

Can I take the day off work if my kid's school is closed?

Schools are often shut when there is bad weather – forcing parents to stay at home to look after their kids.

If a school was closed at short notice, this would constitute an emergency relating to a dependant.

In this case, staff would be entitled to take time off as dependency leave.

This type of leave does not have to be paid.

Employers cannot refuse dependency leave if there is no other choice – and staff cannot be disciplined or sacked for taking the time off.

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