UK weather news: How cold does it have to be before you can get a day off work?



Cold weather in the UK sees the forecast predicting snow in London today. A Met Office yellow weather warning for snow and ice is in place for London between 1pm on Thursday until 9pm on Friday. It tells of icy conditions in the coming days. What are your rights when it comes to the cold weather?

How cold does it have to be to take a day off work?

Rights when it comes to cold weather are not a clear cut legal rule.

Individual workplaces are likely to have their own rules in place when it comes to extreme weather.

Phil Pepper, employment partner at law firm Shakespeare Martineau told The Mirror: “Employers should communicate what is expected in such circumstances, preferably ahead of any expected bad weather, and make sure workers know the procedures.”

If you are concerned your boss is being unfair then you should check the staff handbook.

In many cases employees can’t be forced to take a day off as holiday if they can’t come into the office.

This is because employers have to give two days notice before forcing an employee to take holiday.

Steven Baylis, Partner at Lime Solicitors told “Employers are under a duty to protect the safety of their employees, as well as visitors.

“The duty is to ensure that employees and visitors are safe when walking around the premises.

“The duty to visitors is effected by the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, which imposes a duty on occupiers to ensure that visitors will be reasonably safe in using the premises for the purposes for which they are invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.”

How cold does it have to be in the office before I can go home? states: “There is a minimum legal temperature of 16°C for workplaces, or 13°C if your work involves considerable physical activity.

“These temperatures must be achieved by the end of the first hour of work.

“If it gets colder than this – for example, if the heating has broken down – you’re entitled to go home until it is fixed without losing pay.”

You can use a cold weather payments checker to check if your postcode means you can claim. 


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