When employees can’t get to work due to ice and snow conditions, it can have several implications for both the employees and the employer.

Here’s what typically happens.

Employee snow safety first

The safety of employees is the top priority. If road conditions are hazardous due to ice and snow, it is generally advised that employees stay home to avoid accidents or injuries. Employers should encourage employees to prioritise their safety and not take unnecessary risks, they should also have plans for icy conditions within their car park or offices in place such as gritting.

Communication when ice hits

Employers should establish clear communication channels for situations like this with premises maintenance teams having gritting methods in place for the premises. Employees should be informed of company policies regarding inclement weather, including how they should notify their employer if they can’t make it to work.

Time off policies

Companies often have policies in place for such situations. These policies may include provisions for paid time off (e.g. holiday days or personal days), unpaid leave, or flexible work arrangements like working from home. The specific policies can vary from company to company.

Employee makeup time

In some cases, employees may be allowed to make up missed work hours on another day, depending on the nature of their job and the flexibility of their employer if they can’t get to work due to ice and snow conditions.

Alternative arrangements

If possible, employers may allow employees to work remotely if their job allows for it. This can help maintain productivity during adverse weather conditions.

Legal employee requirements

Employers need to be aware of any legal requirements related to inclement weather, such as laws governing mandatory paid leave during emergencies or hazardous conditions. Compliance with these laws is essential.

Pay considerations

Employers must determine how they will handle pay during such absences. Some may offer paid time off, while others may require employees to use accrued leave or make up the time later.

Employee morale

It’s essential for employers to understand the impact on employee morale when employees are unable to make it to work due to weather conditions. Being flexible and understanding can go a long way in maintaining a positive work environment.

Planning ahead

Employers can also encourage employees to plan ahead for such situations. This may involve creating a contingency plan for critical job functions, having a policy in place for early closure or delayed opening of the workplace or enlisting the help of specialised gritting companies to ensure at least the access to their workplace is safe.


Employers may require employees to provide documentation or evidence of the weather-related issues preventing them from coming to work, such as road closures or weather advisories.

Ultimately, the specific actions taken by an employer will depend on the company’s policies, the severity of the weather conditions, and the legal and safety considerations involved as well as whether they have the support of a specialised gritting company to manage the premises.

Open communication and flexibility are key factors in managing such situations effectively while prioritising employee well-being and safety.