Can't Make It To Work? Here's What That Means Legally

Well, it's been snowing today and it could well be snowing tomorrow. So - I know what you're wondering - if you can't make it in, where do you stand in terms of rights?

The good news is they can't get you in for a bollocking as long as you've made an effort and speak to them early. In fact, a reasonable boss shouldn't penalise you if you can't get into work.

They can ask you take it as unpaid leave, or to take holiday days or to work flexible hours to make it up, although they can't force you to take holiday or unpaid holiday unless it's in your contract.

Credit: PA Images

Also, your employer can't make you take a journey that's not safe, however they can make you work from another office or even from home.

As for you chancers looking to get sent home because it's too chilly, although there's no specific law on how cold is too cold, government guidance suggests a minimum of 16C, or 13C if employees are doing physical work. And, as part of health and safety law, employers are required to:

  • Keep the temperature at a comfortable level
  • Provide clean and fresh air

Credit: PA Images

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states (somewhat obtusely) that "during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

A 'reasonable temperature' for a workplace depends on the nature of the job being done and the environmental conditions of the workplace - so what's considered reasonable in a bakery isn't the same as for a scaffolder.

If you think it's freezing to the point of discomfort in your office, it might be worth speaking to HR to see if they will send you home. Though more likely they'll probably just crank up the thermostat.

Featured Image Credit: PA Image

Chris Ogden

Chris Ogden is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing before completing his NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. Chris has previously written for the independent culture magazine The Skinny, among other publications.

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