Can my employer deduct my pay because I can’t get to work?

In the majority of cases, you are not automatically entitled to be paid if you cannot get to work. However this does not mean you will lose out. Whilst your employer is not obliged to negotiate we suggest coming to an arrangement with your boss (eg. working longer the following week, or working from home.)

In a minority of cases some employers may have it written in staff contracts, or have a collective agreement in place, that they will pay you if you cannot get to work due to circumstances beyond your control. In this case, if the employer does not pay you, and deduction could be considered unauthorised .


Can my employer force me to take a day off as holiday?

Only under certain conditions because you are entitled to a minimum notice period before you have to take the leave.

The law states that you must be given warning that is the equivalent of twice the length of the leave. So, for example, you must be given two days’ notice if your employer wants you to take a day’s leave. However, that does not apply if you get more leave than the statutory minimum (typically 28 days).

Can my employer force me to take it as unpaid leave?

According to Acas, your boss cannot force you to take the time as unpaid holiday, unless it is already written into your contract. Your employer would specifically need permission to deduct the money from your pay packet.

However we would advise you to accept this offer as a show of good will – it could also be better than having to use part of your holiday entitlement (see above).

My workplace is closed, am I still entitled to pay?

In these circumstances, you are entitled to pay and your employer cannot require you to take the time as annual leave.

I can’t come to work because my children’s school is closed and I can’t get childcare at short notice.

You have the right in law to unpaid leave to look after children or other dependents in an emergency (a school closing a short notice is likely to be considered an emergency.)

My boss  is putting me under pressure to try to get in.

Your employer cannot force you to attempt the journey. See ACAS for further information.

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