With snow on the way to Leeds, and school closures likely, here are parents’ rights to taking time off work

Snow is forecast, bringing with it a strong likelihood of school closures across the region. But although time off is welcomed by gleeful youngsters, for working parents it can be a major headache if they have no immediate childcare to hand.

By Sally Burton
Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 12:07 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 12:13 pm
School closed due to snow
School closed due to snow

So what are your rights if you need to take time off work at short notice?

Tony Hyams-Parish, a partner at law firm DMH Stallard, explains what you can do, and how it might affect your pay.

He said: "Section 57A(e) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows employees to take a reasonable period of time off, to deal with an unexpected incident which involves the employee's child while they are at school (or another educational establishment). 

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"School closure due to weather is likely to fall under these rules."

He continued: ""As soon as reasonably practicable, the employee must tell the employer of the need to leave work and the reason for this. 

"This should include sufficient information to enable the employer to determine whether the statutory right applies.

 "They must also tell the employer how long they expect to be away from work (unless it is not reasonably practicable). 

"The right is to take a "reasonable" amount of time off to take action which is "necessary", and this will always depend on the circumstances."

 But, he added: "Importantly, there is no right to be paid during this time.

 "Although that’s the strict legal position, many employers will be more flexible. 

"They can allow employees to work from home, make time up later or where a longer period is necessary, allow holiday to be taken. 

"Some will allow the time off without any consequence such as deduction of pay."