HR simplified: work devices, extreme weather conditions and time off for unwell children

Are employees entitled to take time off work to care for sick children?

Your employees are entitled to take time off work for urgent family reasons depending on the nature of the emergency. This is known as force majeure leave.

Employees are only entitled to take 3 days of force majeure leave in a consecutive 12-month period or 5 days in a consecutive 36-month period. If an employee needs to take more long-term leave to care for a child, they must either use their annual leave entitlement or request unpaid parental leave.

Do I pay staff if they are unable to travel to work due to extreme weather?

You should treat employees reasonably if they are genuinely unable to travel due to extreme weather conditions. In terms of pay, you should consider the most appropriate approach for your business from the following list:

– allow the employee to work from home if this is an option,
– pay your employees as normal,
– allow employees to use their entitlement to paid annual leave, or
– allow employees to make up the missed time once normal service is resumed.

If I provide employees with a mobile phone, do I need to monitor their activity outside office hours?

Yes, you should actively monitor the hours worked by your employees, whether they are office-based or working remotely. You are required by law to ensure that employees do not work excessive hours. You should keep appropriate records for all your employees’ working hours.

This is a health and safety issue and it will not be possible to defend a claim by an employee without having the appropriate records.