With large parts of the UK having experienced heavy snowfall, we answer five common questions from employers on the workplace impact of severe weather conditions.

1. Do I have to pay employees who cannot get to work because of severe weather?

In principle, you would be within your rights to refuse to pay an employee who does not appear for work because of severe weather such as heavy snow.

This is because an employee who is not working is not fulfilling his or her contract of employment, and so you do not have to pay him or her.

This is the case even if the employee’s non-appearance is out of his or her control, for example because of extreme weather conditions.

However, this is one of those employment scenarios where the letter of law says one thing, but common sense dictates a more pragmatic approach.

The financial burden on your business of paying staff even though they are not working because of bad weather may be outweighed by the benefits.

Staff morale and your reputation as a good employer may benefit in the long run if you pay staff on a snow day.