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TUC calls on employers to show understanding during this week’s cold snap
  • Union body says workers must not be docked pay or holiday if they can’t get in 

With the Met Office issuing a yellow warning for snow in much of north Wales and northern and central England today (Thursday). the TUC has called on employers not to force their staff to take any risks by making dangerous journeys to work.  

The TUC says employers must show understanding and not punish workers by withholding pay or making them use their holiday. 

Bad weather policies  

The TUC suggests that all employers have clear weather policies to set out what staff should do when snow and ice, or a lack of public transport, prevents them getting to work. 

For example, when the snow causes problems on the UK’s transport network it makes sense for employers to encourage and enable staff to work from home if they can, rather than struggle with a lengthy, risky and difficult commute to and from work.  

The union body says that these policies should also cover what parents should do if schools close and they have no alternative childcare. 

Minimum temperature  

The TUC is also reminding employers to keep their workplaces safe during the cold weather.  

Official health and safety law says the temperature should normally be at least 16°C (or 13°C if much of the work indoors involves severe physical effort). And bosses should also ensure entrances to workplaces are gritted and not slippery.   

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Some of us may be excited as snow falls around the country this week. 

“But others will be left worrying what to do about getting to work if trains and buses stop running – or if schools are closed. 

“Employers must show understanding and not force staff to make dangerous journeys. And workers shouldn't be docked pay or holiday if they can't make it in. 

"Good bosses will already have bad weather policies in place so staff know where they stand and recognise the difficulties those with children face when schools are forced shut.” 

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