The first question on most employer’s minds is whether they are obliged to pay employees if they cannot make it into work. The answer; employees are not automatically entitled to be paid unless their employment contract expressly contains a provision entitling them to be paid on such occasions as bad weather.
That said, it is advisable for employers to consider the advantages of paying employees. Deducting pay may harm morale and result in reduced productivity; not a great position to be in during most businesses’ busiest time of the year. You could offer employees alternative working arrangements, such as home working or flexible hours. These arrangements will seek to maintain staff morale and productivity and reduce any resentment amongst colleagues who do manage to find a way in to work.
In some cases it may not be suitable, or safe, to keep your workplace open. In the event of a workplace closure, employees with contractually guaranteed hours or salary will be entitled to receive payment during the closure.
Be mindful that employees have a statutory right to take time off where there is an unexpected disruption to the arrangements made to care for a child. If a school closure is at short notice, the situation could be deemed to be an emergency. Employees would be entitled to take the day off. Whether leave is paid is at the discretion of the employer.