These are the rights employees have in the event of a storm or inclement weather

Storms and severe storms are occurring more and more frequently. Do you have to go to work when there is a storm or storm warning?? We answer the most important questions about employment law.

These are the rights employees have in the event of a storm or inclement weather

1. Do I have to go to work during a storm or inclement weather??

Employee must appear

Theoretically, the employee must show up for work even if there is a thunderstorm.

The employee carries namely the sog. Path risk. The way to work is his responsibility. The employer, on the other hand, does not have to concern himself with the question of whether and how his employees travel to work.

Another question is what consequences result from the absence. This depends very much on the severity of the storm and the capabilities of the worker (s.u.).

Anyone wishing to take leave on the day in question should discuss this with their employer as early as possible. The latter must only comply with the request if vacation requests from other employees do not take precedence and there are no "urgent operational requirements". Particularly with regard to the latter, it depends heavily on the work in the company whether leave can be granted at such short notice or not. must.

Threat of warning or dismissal?

If the employee does not show up for work, he violates his obligations under the employment contract. In principle, the employer can give him a warning or even terminate his employment.

Here, however, it is always considered on a case-by-case basis how serious the loss of work is. If, for example, the employee is regularly late due to slippery conditions, a warning is readily possible. If the storm had been announced for several days and the employee was able to prepare for this, a failure to appear is also difficult to excuse in this case.

If, on the other hand, the storm has occurred suddenly and has taken the employee by surprise, there is regularly no threat of a warning or dismissal. Even if the storm makes the way to work impossible or unreasonably difficult, the employer must show understanding for the employee. This is the case, for example, if there is an explicit warning against being outdoors due to the storm. Of this is sometimes z.B. to go out with warning level red or violet of the DWD. Labor law consequences usually do not loom in these cases case. However, the employer should be informed of the absence as soon as possible.

2. Can I be late in a storm or inclement weather??

The employee must not only ensure that he arrives at the workplace, but also that he is on time.

For the employee, when in doubt, this means getting up earlier and scheduling a longer drive time or alternative transportation to get to work. So he can't excuse himself with slippery roads, traffic jams, or delays in public transport. Even if the railroad stops (long-distance) traffic, nothing else applies.

3. Will I receive my salary even if I do not work?

Therefore, if the employee does not show up for work due to a storm, he or she will not receive any pay for that time either. The same applies if he arrives late. He is then only paid for the time actually spent on the job. This also applies to cases in which no warning or dismissal is to be feared for the previously mentioned reasons.

4. What if work is impossible because of storms or bad weather?

What happens if the storm not only makes the way difficult, but makes the work completely impossible? For example, if due to the storm z.B. work cannot be done outside, airliners have to be grounded (in terms of cabin crew), the power goes out or the factory is flooded?

In this case, one speaks of the so-called. Operating risk. While the risk of travel is borne by the employee, the risk of operation is borne by the employer (§ 615 S. 3 BGB). If the employee is able to come to work, but the employer is unable to make the work possible, the employee continues to receive pay. Of course, no other consequences under labor law are possible in this case either.

5. May I look after my children?

For many employees, there is also the question of how to look after their children during the storm. Often kindergartens and schools close earlier or are not open at all when there is a storm warning. Younger children in particular, however, cannot be left alone at home unsupervised. Parents are therefore usually faced with a problem.

From a legal perspective, a comparable situation is the illness of a child: The employee must first make every reasonable effort to find an alternative care option. If this is not possible, he can leave work or not show up for work to take care of his child (similar to LAG Koln, 9 Sa 696/14). However, this only applies if the child really needs care, especially because of his or her age.

If the employee cannot come to work for only a short time due to the lack of childcare, as is probably usually the case during a storm, he does not lose his right to wage payment (§ 616 BGB). Although the legal situation in the event of a storm has not yet been clearly clarified in this respect, there is much to be said for the application of Section 616 of the German Civil Code (BGB). In individual cases, however, the provision may be excluded by labor or collective agreement.

All measures should be discussed with the employer beforehand.

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