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Adverse weather policy

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Use this model adverse weather policy to detail what steps you will take as an employer in the event that employees are affected by severe weather conditions.

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How long to understand and implement this policy?
10 mins
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What is an Adverse weather policy?

Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and safety of employees and it is important that employees are not encouraged to attempt to travel to work in dangerous weather.

Similarly, where weather has deteriorated significantly during the working day, an employer should consider allowing employees to leave early to ensure they get home safely.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this policy be issued?
During onboarding / after changes / planned refresher
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this policy, and to whom?
Internally issued to appropriate recipients in your Company
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this policy be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

Adverse weather Policy


The purpose of this policy is to cover rules for employees where an extreme weather event occurs that may affect there ability to travel to site.


This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles

[Company] acknowledges that employees may occasionally have problems travelling to and from work due to either severe weather conditions or major disruptions to public transport.

Whilst the Company is committed to protecting the health and safety of its employees, it must also ensure that its business is not unduly disrupted by external factors.

This policy therefore sets out the duties of employees to attend for work during severe weather conditions or where there are major disruptions to public transport and the relevant procedures for employees to follow, and the responsibilities of the Company.

Staff Contact Details

It is required that all staff supply information to the company HR Administrator to enable contact to be made outside of office hours in the event of an emergency. This information will normally consist of Name, Home Telephone number and if applicable a Mobile number.

It is the Employees responsibility to ensure that any updates to their contact details must be passed to the HR Administrator. [Company] will not be held responsible if contact cannot be made due to incorrect information.

Contact may be in the form of a verbal call, text message or email.

Duty to report for work

It is your duty to report for work regardless of the situation. You should therefore make every effort to attend work in all circumstances. When severe weather conditions occur or where there are major disruptions to public transport, you should take steps to obtain advice on the position from the appropriate external agencies and allow extra time for your journey, making alternative travel arrangements where possible.

Accepted absence or lateness

If you are unable to attend work or are going to be delayed by the weather conditions or public transport disruptions, you should contact your manager as soon as possible to discuss the position. If your manager is unavailable, you should speak to an alternative manager.

Where the Company accepts that you have used your best endeavours to attend work but you are unable to do so or you are late because of the severe weather conditions or the major disruptions to public transport, your manager will discuss the various options potentially available.

At the Company's discretion, you may be required or permitted to:

  • Make up the time at a later date.
  • Take any absence from work as part of your annual leave entitlement.
  • Take any absence from work as special unpaid leave (in this case, your pay will reduce accordingly to take account of the hours/days you have not worked).
  • Be paid at normal rate as if you had attended work on the day(s) of absence.

The Company will base its decision on the overall circumstances.

Leaving work early

If severe weather conditions or major disruptions to public transport occur during the working day which will cause problems for you in travelling home, your manager will decide whether to allow you to leave work early.

This decision will be made after consultation. Senior management will then decide whether to allow the staff to leave work early.

Out of Hours

In the event of adverse weather or major disruptions to public transport occur during out of office hours a decision will be made on whether the company will open for business. This decision will be made by a Director/senior manager.

Contact will then be made to employees by either their manager or HR. This contact will be made via the Staff contact details as supplied to HR.

The above process will also be adopted in the event of adverse weather or major disruptions to public transport which exceed one day.

[Company] will endeavour to contact all staff within a reasonable timescale to ensure travel arrangements are not disrupted or journeys are not wasted.

Health and safety

[Company] is committed to protecting the health and safety of all its employees and this includes during severe weather conditions and where there are major disruptions to public transport and therefore a common sense approach will be taken to the situation. You also have a duty to take reasonable care of your own health and safety and that of other persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions. This includes taking extra care when travelling to and from work in severe weather conditions and allowing more time for your journey, including making alternative travel arrangements where appropriate.

[Company] reserves the right to refuse paying staff if it is believed that adequate travel arrangements were not made.

Brief Procedure

Contact details

  • Supply contact details to HR (all employees).

Working Day Procedure

  • Management / Directors consult and decide whether staff should leave early.
  • If appropriate site/trade union reps will be called together and informed of the situation.
  • If applicable, employees will then be informed that the site will be closing.
  • Discretionary decision will be made regarding pay once the situation is back to normal, staff will be informed via their Manager.

Out of hours Procedure

  • If you cannot carry out your journey due to transport / adverse weather problems then you must inform a manager. If you are in the process of your journey then you must make contact as above.
  • If a decision is made to close the company outside of office hours then contact will be made via the management through the contact details supplied to HR. This may be in the form of a phone call or text message. See below for guidelines.

All Managers must contact HR and then agree the communications process. It will be advised to follow these guidelines:

  • Contact HR and supply details of staff contacted.
  • Managers to liaise with each other (mobile phone) and ensure all staff have been contacted.
  • It is also advised that employees make contact with their respective manager to check status and where appropriate contact fellow staff members.
  • Managers keep HR informed of all contact made to ensure coverage.
  • HR to keep a record of contacts made.

NOTE: The above processes may take some time to complete; every effort will be made to contact staff in a timely fashion. To support this staff must also make the effort to contact a member of the management as soon as possible.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

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Adverse weather policy
adverse weather policy