Severe Weather Work Issues


Release Date: 11/05/2018
TCCI CEO Michael Bailey today urged all employers and employees to work together with regard to ongoing severe weather conditions in Tasmania.

“Obviously, we don’t want people to risk their lives trying to get to work if the weather or road conditions are dangerous,” Mr Bailey said.

“The TCCI pays tribute to the many hundreds of emergency services workers and volunteers in Southern Tasmania and on the East Coast, who have gone out into horrendous conditions to keep Tasmanians safe.”

Mr Bailey said there are many ramifications for employers and their employees when people are unable to get to work due to severe weather.

“Some employers will ask the question of whether employees should be paid when they are unable to attend work,” Mr Bailey said.

“This depends on a number of different circumstances and it’s best to get individual advice.
 
“Factors include:

  • Is it the employer or the employee asking for the time off?
  • Can the work be safely performed?
  • Are there provisions for this in the employment contract?
  • Are there provisions for this in the applicable Contract / Modern Award / Enterprise Agreement?
 
Mr Bailey said general information can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

The Fair Work Act 2009 S524 provides for circumstances in which an employee can be stood down without pay, including natural disasters such as flooding for which the employer isn’t responsible.

“What employers also need to be aware of are WHS issues that may be associated with inclement weather and the safety of their staff.

“Essentially, this is one of those areas that, even if legally you are not required to pay your employees , morally do you want to encourage your employees to risk their safety coming to or at work for the sake of 1 day’s pay?”

Mr Bailey said employers are encouraged to contact the TCCI with any questions they may have.
 
Contact: TCCI Chief Executive Michael Bailey – 0437 322 338 




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