With winter just around the corner, you may want to think about how this can affect your business. This can be a good time to consider employee rights in winter to ensure the colder months run smoothly.

Adverse Weather and Employee Rights in Winter

It can be helpful to ensure your business has an adverse weather policy in place. It can be effective to discuss this with staff to ensure you are showing consideration of employee rights in winter.

If your employees’ normal mode of transport is compromised due to severe weather conditions, you should first encourage the employee to explore alternative means of safe transport.

You can look at offering employees alternative times to work to resolve this constraint. It can also be helpful to look at the possibility of your employee working from home until the weather situation is resolved. If this is not a viable option for your business, it is important that you discuss this with your staff. It is your role to let them know in the events that they are unable to attend work, this will be unpaid in these circumstances. You are under no obligation to pay employees for their lost hours. Although it is important to consider staff’s safety at this time and employee rights in winter.

Another option you can explore is that staff can request to take the time off as paid annual leave. You can also ask them to make up the lost hours at another time or location.


One of the biggest issues that a business can face in winter is the rise in staff sickness levels. The absence of your employee not only costs your business money, but it can also negatively impact productivity.

Think of ways you can be proactive during this period. You can encourage healthier lifestyles starting with providing fruit at work. Talk with your staff and ensuring they have a healthy work/life balance can be key when tackling this issue. You should also ensure that you have a robust sickness absence policy in place. This will ensure staff know what to do when they are too ill to work. You must also keep in mind employee rights in winter.

You must have a discussion with your employees to set clear expectations around unacceptable absence levels. Look at what happens if their attendance levels fall below standard process.

Return to work interviews are an important part of absence management. It’s your opportunity to ensure you understand what has caused your employee to be absent. You can confirm expectations on their return to work. These interviews help you to collect a paper trail which you can refer back to if absence levels worsen, allowing you to consider further action.

Company Vehicles

Ensure your employees are aware of what is expected of them when driving company vehicles. Although, take into consideration dangerous road conditions due to the dark winter weather.

Company car drivers must be aware of the responsibility they have to maintain company vehicles. They must regularly check tyres, oil, water, lights and other functions to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive.

It’s always good to be prepared when driving in winter weather conditions. You may want to consider encouraging your employees to keep anti-freeze, blankets and snow shovels in their company vehicles.

Work Place Premises

As a manager, it is important that you ensure car parks and pavements are well gritted. This can help to reduce the risk of work accidents.

If you would like any further guidance on how to tackle winter weather and employee rights in winter, please feel free to contact us now.

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