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Workers being forced to travel despite severe weather

Unions urge employers to draw up bad weather plans so staff know what is expected of them.

People are being forced to try to get to work despite the severe weather and official advice to avoid travelling, it has been revealed.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress said it has been inundated with complaints from workers.

The union organisation has launched a survey to gauge the extent of the issue in workplaces across Scotland, and to give some advice to workers on how they can collectively challenge the “clearly unfair” behaviour.

Dave Moxham, the STUC’s deputy general secretary, said: “We have been shocked by the cold-hearted way in which many employers around the country have treated their workers over the past few days.

“It is not often that we see this level of risk to life due to weather. It has become clear to us that many employers have chosen to put their profits over the safety of their workforce.

“There is no excuse for not paying heed to weather warnings. Requiring staff to get to work in adverse conditions is exploitation. It is also exploitative to cancel shifts without pay.”

The TUC called on employers not to force staff to make dangerous journeys to work.

General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “When the snow causes problems on the roads and trains it is common sense for bosses to let their staff work from home rather than struggle with a lengthy and potentially dangerous commute.

“No one should be made to put their health at risk to get to work or be punished by losing pay or holiday when they can’t get in because of the weather.

“Many good employers now have ‘bad weather’ policies in place so staff know what to do. But bosses must also be aware of the difficulties faced by staff whose children’s schools are closed due to the weather.

“Some may be able to take their children to work or work from home. But those who can’t need support and understanding from their employers.”

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