Help! I cannot get to work.

While I am stranded in London as a result of the storm, Warren has kindly put together this short blog for everyone. 

As the storm causes disruption throughout the U.K, mainly employees are likely to encounter problems getting to work. From delayed trains, car and household damage to dangerous walking conditions. The question is as an employee what should you do.

Firstly and most importantly, call your employer and let them know what has happened as soon as possible together with when you expect to be able to return to the office. Your employer is usually only obliged to pay you for working so they may ask you to make the time up, take annual leave or take the time unpaid.

Some employers may have a 'Severe Weather Policy'  however if there is no such policy, employers are very likely to have procedures to deal with general absence which should be followed. This will usually include reporting to HR or your line manager as soon as reasonably possible. 

For employers it’s a matter a balancing employee safety and welfare with their duties to the company. Employers should look at each case individually and consider all the circumstances. For example, an employee walking to work may feel more vulnerable than soomeone who drives. However, if an employee is clearly taking advantage of the storm situation disciplinary action may be warranted.

In summary, it mainly depends on what your employer’s policies are and how flexible they are in situations like these. The best practice is for employers to be flexible with employees in one off situations like storms especially when there is clear genuine evidence why the employee could not come in at all or on time.  

Do you need a severe weather policy put in place or some storm-related advice? Please contact Warren Moores at SCE Solicitors on 0113 350 4030 or

Twitter: WarrenMooresSCE 


  • Tilla Brook said

    I think this is one of those issues in which we witness the gap between the employees who will do their best to be reasonable and those who won't, and the employers who will strive to be the same. Thank goodness there are always more of the ones who will be reasonable, on both sides. Only the unreasonable make the headlines.

  • Helen Collier said

    This will no doubt come up a lot again in the winter. Home working is more possible now for many people. Can employers request their employees work from home?

  • Samira Cakali said

    I agree Tilla.

    Helen: Yes, it is possible for employers to request employees to work from home and visa versa however the problem for many employees will be that they are simply not set up to work from home.

    Although that being said, more and more employers are starting to use cloud based software so their employees can log into the system whereever they are, therefore making home from home a viable option.

    Best wishes,

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