Met Eireann has now issued a status red weather warning for Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath areas and a wider orange status for many other parts of the country. The weather is expected to get worse on Thursday and Friday and many businesses are considering on whether they should remain open and in operation or close their business for one or more days. Extreme weather is rare in Ireland and this has posed a number of concerns for businesses which we will try to address below:
Am I legally required to pay my employees if I close my business?
No, businesses are not required by law to pay their employees. Currently, there is no legal provision that directly addresses whether businesses must pay their employees if they close their business due to extreme weather conditions. There is a lot of media coverage that states employers are required legally to pay their staff, however, it is not covered legally that businesses must pay employees if the business is closed due to extreme weather or a red status warning.
Businesses will need to consider the employee / employer relationship and the cost of paying staff if they need to close their business for one or more days. They will also need to consider what they have they done in the past, what is in their policy on bad weather if they have one or they could consider one of the options stated below.
What other options can we offer our employees if they cannot come in to work?
Businesses can ask staff to do one of the following:
1. Use their existing annual leave
2. Take unpaid leave
3. Work from home if that is possible
4. Work up the hours at a later stage
What if our employees came in to work but had to leave early, will I be required to pay them for the full day?
It would be best practice to pay an employee a full day’s pay if they come in to work and need to leave home early.
You can read the full details of the SFA inclement / bad weather policy here
If you have any questions relating to the SFA bad weather policy please contact, Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 087 711 6490