The Council recognises that during periods of severe weather conditions such as heavy snow fall and flooding, employees may face difficulties attending work and returning home.

The aim of this guidance is to ensure consistent and fair practice is adopted throughout the Council in situations where adverse weather conditions affect an employee’s ability to attend or remain at work.

This guidance applies to all Council staff, including teachers. For the full Failure to Attend Work due to Bad Weather guidance please click here.

1. Background

Information and advice from the Police, Motoring Organisations and Transport Authorities will be disseminated by HR to a nominated representative of the Corporate Management Team (CMT). They will decide on whether this guidance will apply based on the information obtained.

2. Arrangements for:

Failure to Attend Work

  • Working from home would apply where:
    • the employee is able to perform the duties of their role from home, and
    • sufficient work is available to be completed at home, and
    • the nature of the duties to be undertaken are suitable for home working.
  • An employee may report for work at an alternative Aberdeen City Council location/site. This would depend upon points 2 and 3 above.
  • These require prior management authority.

Lateness for Work

  • Lateness will be ignored if the Director is satisfied that an employee has been prevented from attending work by their normal starting time due to bad weather
  • The employee will be credited with the lost time calculated on the difference between their actual arrival time and their scheduled or normal start time, including those on flexi time.

The Need to Leave Work Early

  • The Director will decide whether any request to leave work early is warranted, bearing in mind the information provided by HR and the home address, mode of travel and employee’s personal circumstances.
  • Where the Director is satisfied that early release is justified, the employee will be credited with a normal standard day. For an employee on flexi time this would be to the end of their normal finishing time.

3. School Closures in General

  • Where a school is closed due to bad weather the Directors will have discretion to grant the employee up to one day’s paid special leave where the employee is able to attend work but is unable to organise alternative childcare arrangements at short notice.
  • Other similar scenarios concerning dependant relatives can be considered in terms of Compassionate Leave provision within the Special Leave Policy.

4. School Based Staff

School Open

  • Where a school is open but staff cannot attend arrangements in section 2 above will apply.
  • When teachers have class contact time scheduled on this day, the teacher can ‘pay back’ class contact for the days they are unable to attend. These arrangements will be done by agreement with the Head Teacher of the school.
  • For any remaining hours not scheduled as class contact, the Teacher can undertake these at a time and place of their choosing in accordance with paragraph 3.10 of the SNCT terms and conditions of employment.
  • Where a Teacher is unable or opts not to ‘pay back’ the lost time, there would normally be a deduction from pay for the lost class contact time 

School Closed to Pupils but Open to Staff

  • The arrangements within section 2 above apply where a school is closed to pupils but keep it open for staff able to travel to school safely.
  • Teachers, in accordance with paragraph 3.10 of the SNCT terms and conditions, can work at home or a place of their choosing. The Teacher must inform their line manager of their intention.

School Closed to Pupils and Staff

  • Where the employee is available for work, they will be requested by their Head Teacher to report for duty to an alternative authority school where practicable.
  • Teachers can also elect to work at home or a place of their choosing.
  • Only where this was not possible with all other reasonable options exhausted, would a day’s special leave be granted.

5. Responsibilities of Employees

  • To contact their line manager as soon as possible to inform of any non-attendance for work due to adverse weather conditions.
  • To discuss options with their line manager on how an absence will be regarded i.e. flexi, annual, unpaid leave or agreeing an arrangement to make the lost time up at a later date.
  • To determine whether it is safe to travel to work during periods of adverse weather, it being the responsibility of each individual employee to make the decision in respect of their personal safety.
  • To raise with the Service Manager any dissatisfaction with the decision made by their manager. If this does not resolve the matter to their satisfaction, the employee may wish to use the appropriate organisational process.

6. Responsibilities of Managers

  • To inform his/her team if the guidance is applicable that day.
  • To consider the reason for non-attendance and discussing and approving the appropriate alternative arrangements e.g. granting annual leave, flexi leave or unpaid leave, working from home or an arrangement for the lost time to be made up at a later date (including lot class contact time for Teachers).
  • N/B It is not for managers to give advice on whether a journey to work is safe or not, this being the decision of the individual employee.

Relevant Documents and Links

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