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Employers Are Not Obligated To Pay Staff Who Are Absent Due To Severe Weather Conditions Today

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There were tricky decisions to be made this morning as news spread of the severity of the impending Hurricane Ophelia. 

While many chose not to commute to work amid severe weather warnings, others were advised to use their discretion and grappled with decisions about whether or not to leave the house. 

For those wondering about their rights as employees on days like today, the facts aren’t exactly comforting. 

According to the Irish Times, employers are not obligated to pay an employee that doesn’t show up to work due to extreme weather like a hurricane, even if the employer has closed their business for the day. 

Senior counsel and employment law specialist Marguerite Bolger told the publication: 

“It’s come up before when we had the big snow [IN 2010]. The general thinking is if you’ve half a brain as an employer you’ll accommodate employees. But it doesn’t follow that you’ve an obligation,”

“At the end of the day, if you don’t turn up for work there is no obligation on an employer to pay you.”

She continued: “There’s no provision in law for extreme weather. In that, it’s like sick pay. It’s all pursuant to the contract you have with your employer.”

Employment law solicitor Richard Grogan added: 

“The better employers will have a policy in place to cover inclement weather events. That’s just good business sense. But there is no requirement.”

This will mostly affect those on an hourly or daily rate, but all employees are advised to check their contracts to determine their own rights. 

Not great. 

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