By Daniel Hunter

The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) is warning businesses to ensure they have plans in place to deal with Britain’s continuing bout of arctic weather. With hundreds of school closures and widespread transport disruption, organisations across the UK will likely face higher levels of staff absenteeism over the coming week.

Although businesses are not required by law to pay employees who are absent due to adverse weather and transport issues, employer agreements will vary from one organisation to the next. Therefore the CIPP advises workers to discuss their contractual rights and obligations with their payroll department to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings.

“Businesses should expect that the freezing winter conditions in combination with icy roads and defective transport links may make it very difficult for many of their staff to come into the office," Mr Lindsay Melvin, Chief Executive of the CIPP, said.

"On top of that, extensive school closures could mean a high proportion of working parents may be required to stay at home to take care of their children.

“Employees should be made aware that there is no legal obligation for their employer to pay them if they are prevented in attending work as a result of severe weather. If you are unclear whether this affects you, the best thing to do is approach your payroll department to provide clarification.

“For employers, one solution for dealing with high staff absenteeism in the workplace is allowing employees to work from home during this period of bad weather. Providing them with the capacity to work remotely using laptops and smartphones can prove to be an effective way of minimising costs to businesses.”

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