No 'right to pay' for those who miss work due to Storm Emma, warn employment law experts
Know your rights.
Irish companies are under no obligation to pay their employees for work missed during Storm Emma, also known as The Beast from the East.
Thousands of people across the country have heeded warnings not to leave their homes and go to work during Met Éireann's Status Red warning, even though it's now technically safe to leave the house once again.
However, unless it is stipulated in a staff member’s contract of employment, there is no onus on an employer to pay someone who fails to show up for work or for hours missed due to weather conditions. Even if a place of work is closed for the day, there is no legal requirement to pay.
Employment law expert, Martina McAuley, from HR Team explains the choices available to employers.
"There is no obligation on employers to pay employees who don’t show up for work because of extreme weather conditions," she said.
"However, many employers do include provision in their contracts of employment for payment to be made in situations like we experienced today across Ireland.
"As the weather conditions are outside employees’ control, employers may decide to pay for missed days or hours, in order to retain talent and ensure morale is not affected. After all, this sort of situation is not a regular occurrence.
"So, while there is no legislation surrounding this topic, employers would be best advised look at the bigger picture. There is also the option of asking staff to make up the time at a later date or suggest it is taken as holiday time.
"It’s very much like sick pay in that it depends how it is dealt with in the contract of employment," she added.
Main image: Snow in Castlepollard, Co. Wicklow on Friday morning (via Ronan Doolin)