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Don’t travel to work if it is risky, says TUC

Workers should not foot the bill for bad weather conditions

4th February 2009: Following the recent snowstorms in the UK, the TUC advises workers to make every reasonable effort to get into work, but discourages them from attempting to travel if it is not safe to do so.

TUC says the employers should contact staff to advise them about getting into work. They should also take care that workers do not get trapped at work or put at risk if the weather gets worse. Workers should also let their employers know if they are not able to make it into work. For those struggling with their commute, working from home is a useful alternative as long as it is technically feasible to do so, says the TUC.

Despite the heroic efforts of millions to get into work, the bad weather and lack of public transport have prevented many people from working. While there is no general legal right to be paid if you do not come into work, many companies have ‘bad weather’ policies so that employees who are kept away from work are still paid.

For those employers who don’t have ‘bad weather’ policies, the TUC advises that it would be bad practise not to pay staff or force them to take holiday as this would cause resentment among those have been kept away from work through no fault of their own.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “Across the country, people have been braving the elements to get into work. Employers and workers must keep each other informed as to whether it’s safe, or even possible, to commute to and from work.

“But for many the bad weather and lack of public transport have made their commute impossible. Good employers will already have ‘bad weather’ policies so that those who are unable to work are still paid.”

Mr. Barber added: “Scrooge bosses that dock pay and take away holiday will add to their business woes by creating resentment among staff. Workers who have been prevented from working through no fault of their own should not have to foot the bill for the bad weather conditions. Instead we urge all employers to look after their staff during these adverse weather conditions.”

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