Storm Ciarán is expected to bring strong winds, heavy rain and flooding across southern England and Wales, the Met Office has warned.

The extreme weather conditions will impact public transport, which will be disrupted, leaving many to wonder what their rights are if they can’t get to work.

Yellow warnings for wind and rain are already in place across parts of the UK between Wednesday and Friday.

Across the UK, the Environment Agency has issued more than 25 flood warnings after a prolonged period of wet weather.

Neha Thethi, head of employment at Lime Solicitors, answers some of the most frequently asked questions and shares advice with employees in reference to Storm Ciaran.

Your rights during Storm Ciaran

Does my employer have to pay me if I can’t get to work due to Storm Ciarán?

Neha said: “Whether employees get paid on days when they cannot make it into the office will largely depend on their contract of employment. Many employers will have a ‘bad weather policy’, so it is always worth checking your contract. However, on a general note, employers do not have to pay employees who are unable to get into work, subject to their contract.

"Employees are expected to make reasonable efforts to attend work despite any severe transport disruption or road closures. However, it is usually best practice to be flexible in these circumstances by allowing employees to request the time off as annual leave or to work from home.

"With the help of technology and working adjustments made during the coronavirus pandemic, many employees should be able to work from home. However, it is important to remember your employer should not force you to attempt the journey if there are legitimate concerns for your safety.”

My workplace has closed for the day due to Storm Ciarán – do I still get paid?

“If your employer has closed the office because it is inaccessible, they should usually still pay employees for that day. Withholding pay when employees are unable to work through no fault of their own could be considered as an unauthorised deduction from wages," continued Neha.

"In those circumstances, employees may be able to bring a claim against their employer. However, it should be noted that some employment contracts contain a temporary ‘lay-off’ clause. If this is the case, employers can refuse to give the full amount of pay to employees to a limited time.”

Can you take time off work if your child’s school is closed due to Storm Ciarán?

“Schools are often closed when there is bad weather, forcing many employees to stay at home to look after their children. If a school was closed at short notice, this would constitute an emergency relating to a dependant, in which case, you would be entitled to take time off as dependency leave.

"This type of leave does not have to be paid. Your employer cannot refuse you dependency leave if you have no other choice, and you cannot be disciplined or sacked for taking the time off.”