Adverse Weather Policy

(A pdf version of this policy is available for download here)

Introduction

St Stephen in Brannel Parish Council recognises that there will inevitably be occasions when weather conditions are so severe that some employees will either be prevented from getting to their normal place of work or will be late and/or need to leave early.

While the Council is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its employees, it must ensure that disruption caused to its services remains minimal.

Responsibilities of Staff

It is expected that employees will make every reasonable effort to reach their place of work, however, employees are not expected to, and should not, put themselves at risk.

In the event of adverse weather conditions, employees will take all reasonable steps to report his or her inability to attend work to the Clerk and/or Operations Manager as soon as is practicably possible. This should be in line with the normal arrangements for reporting sickness absence or other unanticipated absence and this will apply for each day that the member of staff is unable to attend work.

Inability to Attend Work

If an employee has made all reasonable efforts to travel to their place of work but has failed due to adverse weather conditions, upon agreement with the Clerk, employees will be entitled to take one of the following options –

  • Working from home (if practicable).
  • Making up the time/hours lost.
  • Taking a day’s/half day’s annual leave.
  • Taking unpaid leave.
  • Or a combination of the above options.

Paid leave may also be agreed in certain circumstances at the discretion of the Clerk after consultation with the Chairman of the Staffing Committee.

Late Arrival

If the employee has made efforts to attend work on time and arrives late they will not be expected to make the time up if the lateness in total is no more than half the employee’s normal working day, having regard to the severity of the conditions and the personal circumstances of individual staff members.

Leaving Early

The Clerk will be responsible for deciding whether any request to leave early is warranted.

In circumstances where the Clerk is satisfied that early release is justified, the employee will be authorised to leave work early and they will not be expected to make the time up if the hours in total are no more than half the employee’s normal working day.

Closure of Place of Work

The Clerk, after consultation with the Chairman, will be responsible for deciding whether to close a place of work due to adverse weather. If this occurs, employees will be entitled to paid leave for their normal hours of work for the duration of the closure.

Council Meetings

The decision to cancel any meeting of the Council due to adverse weather will be made by the Clerk following consultation with the Chairman of the Council or the Chairman.

School Closures & Other unexpected Emergencies

In an emergency situation involving a dependent, with agreement from the Clerk, employees have the right to request

  • Working from home (if practicable).
  • Making up the time/hours lost.
  • Taking a day’s/half day’s annual leave
  • Taking unpaid leave.
  • Or a combination of the above options.

Situations could include:

  • school is closed and a worker cannot leave their child
  • caring arrangements for a disabled relative are cancelled
  • a partner is seriously injured as a result of bad weather.

Minimum and Maximum Workplace Temperature

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states the employer should maintain a reasonable workplace temperature, but it doesn’t specify a minimum or maximum temperature. Therefore, the Clerk will determine what reasonable will be in adverse weather circumstances. The reasonable level will depend on the nature of the employee’s role and their workplace.

Other Considerations

Special care should be taken when applying this policy where it is known that an employee has mobility problems or a medical/health condition which may be exacerbated by adverse weather conditions.

Employees who are already on leave (annual, maternity, sickness etc.) will not be entitled to a day off in lieu if their place of work is closed.

[Adopted by Full Council the meeting held on Wednesday 3rd February 2021 under minute number FPC46/21. Due for review in 2024.]