Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Statement
In light of this week’s severe weather warnings issued by Met Éireann in relation to Storm Emma, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation - DBEI is, in the first instance, advising businesses and employees to heed the updates from the Government’s National Emergency Coordination Group on Severe Weather.
In addition, the Department has prepared a short checklist for businesses to help them prepare for severe weather events such as the one now forecast. One of the implications an employer may have to consider in the coming days is whether they will need to close their business.
It will not be possible for the Department to issue blanket advice about whether a business should close in the event of a Status Red Warning from Met Éireann, because many organisations are engaged in the delivery of essential services.
Businesses should however prioritise the safety of their workers at all times in the decision-making process and should now be considering how they will communicate with their staff in the coming days about any possible closures, be that by email, text, phone or social media.
Payment of Wages
The Workplace Relations Commission, which is an office of this Department, offers advice to both employers and employees on dealing with a situation whereby an employee cannot attend work due to unforeseen circumstances. It is however important that both parties are aware there is no legal entitlement for an employee to be paid where they cannot attend for work.
Any more beneficial arrangement is a matter for agreement between the employer and the employee, but equally employers are encouraged to take a long-term view of the working relationship.