Advice Column: Adverse Weather

Thursday 14th March 2019

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column this week we focus on adverse weather.

Heavy snowfall shut down my 8-year-old’s school in January, and I needed to take the day off from work but I was worried that my boss would sack me or dock my wages. What are my rights?

It’s important to know that if your child’s school is closed, you’re entitled to take time off to make sure they’re looked after.

Employees who care for young children have the right to what’s known as Dependant Leave, which covers emergencies such as your child’s school being closed. Dependant Leave gives you a “reasonable amount” of time off work to deal with an emergency relating to your child.

It is important to speak to your line manager as soon as possible. Although an employer can’t refuse to let you take Dependant Leave, they might be worried about the effect on the business.  Make it clear you have no option, that you will only take the necessary time and that you will keep in touch.

Check your workplace policy – different employers have different policies. They may allow you to take paid time off, annual leave or to make up the hours later.

If this doesn’t cover you, request Dependant Leave. You are entitled to this, so if they try to discipline or fire you, get further advice and information at:

Look out for our column next week when we focus on dating websites.

The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date version, please visit the Citizens Advice website at