Payment for Storm Emma? 

There has been a lot of talk in the press recently as to whether people should be paid or not for Storm Emma, and there have been conflicting views as to whether people have a right to payment of wages if they were not at work during the period of Storm Emma. 
 
It appears now that the general view amongst lawyers, and this will have to be tested legally, is that where the office is open but you cannot make it to work, you are not entitled to be paid. 
On the other hand, if the office closes and sends you home, the general view appears to be that in those circumstances you should be entitled to get your wages for the period during which you have been sent home. 
 
While this may not be a huge issue if it is for a day or two, obviously employers would be in severe difficulties if the firm was closed for any extended period. 
 
Therefore, I think the practical view to take is that if the workplace is closed for a day or two due to inclement weather conditions, staff will probably have a right to be paid, but if the office is closed for any longer period, then alternative procedures should be put in place, e.g. taking leave, and if staff have already taken their full allowance, leave for the following year would be taken into the current year, or staff would have to work overtime for a certain period of time without pay. Temporary lay-off provisions might also be considered 
 
In addition employers should amend their conditions of employment to cover this situation. 
 
This is very much a fluid situation and if anyone has any queries in relation to the matter please do not hesitate to telephone our offices. 
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