The recent cold snap isn't another "beast from the East" but has reminded us that winter has arrived after an exceptionally mild Autumn.

The Scottish Government has published a voluntary charter to remind businesses that they owe a duty to care to their staff and should not put them at risk by insisting they turn up to work if severe weather warnings have been issued and it is unsafe to travel.

It recommends that all employers should have a Severe Weather Policy which: 

  • Clearly sets out what workers should do when Met Office weather warnings are issued and reflects the information and advice given in Met Office weather alerts
  • Considers workers’ ability to get to and from their workplace, as well as their ability to carry out their job safely
  • Identifies who the decision makers are in the organisation and ensures there is clear delegated authority and an agreed process for making timely decisions and communicating these
  • Identifies, where possible, alternative places to work in the event that weather conditions prevent an employee from getting to their usual work base; this should be an appropriate, safe and viable alternative
  • Encourages flexible working practices to enable those who can, to work from home.

Need help?

We can help you write a policy or review your own. Please contact Alan Lewis: or 44 (0)161 259 1548 for more information. 

Our fixed fee service

If you are interested in finding out about how we can support you with our fixed-fee annual retainer, or flexible discounted bank of hours service, please contact Rachel Hetherington: rachel.hetherington@irwinmitchell.comor: 44 (0)121 203 5355 for a no obligation quote.