The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged employers to stay vigilant in the wake of heavy snowfall currently affecting much of the UK.
It stated that whilst employees should make every effort to get in to their workplaces where they can, employers shouldn’t force workers to travel if the conditions are not safe to do so. In particular, those who reside in rural or isolated areas should not be made to travel in adverse weather.
The TUC has urged employers to create ‘bad weather’ plans, outlining the requirements of employees in the event of extreme weather conditions.
Employers should also ensure that workplaces are kept safe and warm during spells of cold weather, and that entrances to workplaces are properly gritted and not hazardous.
Individuals who typically work outdoors should not be made to do so in very cold weather unless ‘absolutely necessary’, and only if they have suitable clothing, said the TUC.
Commenting on the issue, Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: ‘When the snow causes problems on the roads and trains it is common sense for bosses to let their staff work from home rather than struggle with a lengthy and potentially dangerous commute.
‘No one should be made to put their health at risk to get to work or be punished by losing pay or holiday when they can’t get in because of the weather.
‘Many good employers now have ‘bad weather’ policies in place so staff know what to do.’