The University of York recognises that adverse weather conditions can prevent employees from reaching their normal place of employment.

All employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to attend for work, but without compromising their health and safety.

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance and outline the responsibilities for employees and managers for attendance at work in the event of adverse weather conditions and/or major disruptions to public transport.


The guidelines are applicable to all employees within the University or seconded employees working to University policies and procedures.


In applying the guidelines the University recognises the need to safely maintain services during adverse weather conditions, whilst properly discharging its duty of care to employees. Employees should not put themselves at unnecessary risk and in this regard employees should use their own judgement and give due consideration to severe weather warnings.

A manager’s decision will seek to take account of any advice issued or sought from the police; weather centre; public transport and motoring organisations in relation to prevailing weather conditions and the advisability of travel.


It is appreciated that there may be operational and service delivery considerations in working during periods of adverse weather. Managers are expected to ensure that employees are treated in an equitable and consistent manner and that the safety of employees is not compromised in any way.

Managers also need to consider individual requests from people with a disability and/or caring responsibilities that may present additional barriers to attendance at work in bad weather conditions.


If there are no specific local instructions, then employees should report that they are unable to attend for work as early as possible, and no later than 1 hour after the time they would be expected to start work.

The manager should consider the following options and agree with the employee that either:

  • Working from home
    In certain circumstances line Managers may agree that an employee can work from home. This would be on the understanding that the employee can perform duties that are relevant to their normal workload and grade. This must be the subject of prior agreement (either general or specific) with the employee’s line manager. The work to be undertaken at home must be agreed with the line manager and be the subject of normal managerial procedures on return to work
  • To take the day/s as annual leave
  • To take the day/s as lieu time
  • To work the appropriate extra hours unpaid
  • To take unpaid leave
  • A combination of the above
  • Flexitime (where a scheme is operating)

Arriving late

Where the line manager is satisfied that an employee has genuinely been prevented from attending work by his/her normal starting time, as a result of adverse weather, any lateness will not be penalised in term of sanctions under any of the University’s policies. Any loss of time should be managed by giving consideration to use of the appropriate options detailed above.

Leaving early

Line managers will be responsible for deciding whether any request to leave early as a result of adverse weather is warranted, bearing in mind all available information including the infrastructure, home address and mode of transport of the employee concerned.

In circumstances where the Line Manager is satisfied that early release is justified, the loss of time will be managed by giving consideration to use of the appropriate options detailed above.


Human Resources will be responsible for reviewing and implementing the guidelines following consultation with the JNCC.

Document control

  • Last reviewed: 31 December 2014