beast from the east
TUC urges “common sense” worker safety in the snow
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged bosses to let staff work from home as heavy snowfall causes disruption across the country.
Amber weather warnings are currently in place across parts of London, Yorkshire and Newcastle, while yellow weather warnings are currently in place in other parts of the country.
Kent, Surrey, Suffolk and Sussex are among the worst-hit counties, with between five and 10cm of snow overnight, while North-East England has received up to 8cm.
There has also been disruption on the travel network with train cancellations on various routes.
More heavy snowfall is expected across the country during the rest of this week.
Safety in the snow
In light of the current weather conditions, the TUC has urged employers to draw up bad weather plans, so staff know what is expected of them.
It has also warned bosses not to withhold pay from staff or force them to travel into work when it is not safe.
The TUC has also reminded companies to keep workplaces safe and warm during the current cold weather snap.
According to the trade union, the indoor temperature in most workplaces should ideally be around 22C, although the absolute legal minimum is 16C.
And it states employers also should also ensure that workers are not working outdoors in the very cold weather unless absolutely necessary.
Let staff work from home
“When the snow causes problems on the roads and trains it is common sense for bosses to let their staff work from home, rather than struggle with a lengthy and potentially-dangerous commute,’ said TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady.
“No one should be made to put their health at risk to get to work or be punished by losing pay or holiday, when they can’t get in because of the weather.
“Many good employers now have “bad weather” policies in place, so staff know what to do,” added Ms O’Grady. “But bosses must also be aware of the difficulties faced by staff whose children’s schools are closed due to the weather. Some may be able to take their children to work, or work from home. But those who can’t need support and understanding from their employers.”