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Adverse weather and travel disruption

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Example policy: Adverse weather and travel disruption

This is an example of an employment policy designed for a small not-for-profit employer adhering to statutory minimum requirements and does not constitute legal advice. As with all policies it should be consistent with your terms and conditions of employment as well as your culture and aspirations. There is no one size fits all.

Download a version of this adverse weather and travel disruption example policy (Word, 66KB)

Purpose and scope

This policy summarises our approach to disruption caused by extreme weather and transport disruption, for example due to strikes or extreme weather conditions. It does not cover transport difficulties experienced as part of the usual day-to-day commute. It applies to all employees.

Reasonable efforts to attend work

This policy aims to protect the health and safety of all staff, while making sure that disruption caused to the charity remains minimal. In practice this means that all staff must use every effort to report for work at their normal workplace at their usual start time.

This may mean having to make special arrangements to make sure that they can attend each day. It is not our intention that staff put themselves at unnecessary risk or take unreasonable action when trying to attend work.

Attendance at work

Procedure if you are unable to reach your normal place of work

If you expect to be late or cannot safely reach work due to adverse weather, telephone your manager as soon as possible. If you are unable to reach your manager, you must report your absence to another manager, or the CEO, by 09.00.

Unless your manager tells you otherwise, you should telephone to notify them on each day that you are unable to get to work. If you do not let us know you are unable to attend work, it will be an unauthorised absence.

If you are unable to attend your normal workplace, your manager may ask you to work from home. If this is not possible, you will be required to either:

  • take holiday
  • take unpaid leave
  • at your manager’s discretion, make the time up within a reasonable and agreed time scale.


If you are delayed because of adverse weather conditions or extreme public transport delays (caused by strike or adverse weather conditions) you may be able to make up this time at a later date. However, it is open to your manager to waive this requirement if the lateness is negligible. If the lateness is more than negligible you may be required to either take holiday or unpaid leave, as detailed above.

Deterioration of weather while at work

If you wish to leave work early because you wish to get home before the weather becomes too bad to travel, you must discuss this with your manager. Your manager will decide on a case-by-case basis whether you can leave work early. They will take into account your circumstances (for example, distance from home to work, mode of transport), your views and the needs of the charity.

If your manager agrees that you can leave early, you must also agree with your manager whether you should take the time as annual or unpaid leave or whether you can make the time up within a reasonable and agreed time scale.

If we decide to close your normal workplace when you are ready, willing and available for work, and you are unable to work from home, you will be paid for your normal working hours.

School/nursery closure impacting on your ability to work

If your child’s school or nursery has closed due to bad weather and this impacts on your ability to come to work, please use our time off for dependant’s policy.

Possible disciplinary action

Where it is suspected that an individual is using adverse weather conditions or travel disruption due to strikes as an excuse not to attend work or there is unauthorised absence on your part, we may take action under our disciplinary procedure.

Sensible precautions

If severe weather is expected, you should do the following.
• Think carefully before attending external meetings. Is it possible to hold a telephone conference instead? Check with your manager if you are unsure.
• If you do travel on business make sure that someone knows where you are going, the route you plan to take and when you expect to be back. If the situation changes, keep your manager informed.
• Always make sure that you leave with a fully charged mobile phone.

If you need to drive in severe weather conditions then we advise you to follow the weather warnings and driving advice given by the AA.

Download a version of this adverse weather and travel disruption example policy (Word, 66KB)

Page last edited May 17, 2022

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