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Transportation: What if I can't get to work?

The leaves are falling from the trees, it is getting colder and the birds are making them come to the South. Our days are getting shorter and the nights longer. The weather is changing, traffic jams are increasing, as are the problems with public transport. Nevertheless, your employer expects you to be at work on time. What if this is not possible due to problems with your car or public transport, for example? What options do you have then?

What do the legal rules say?

Unfortunately, the law does not have clear rules for this. The main thing is that an employee is responsible for commuting. Always try to go to work. But when there is an endless traffic jam due to weather conditions or all public transport is disrupted by half a meter of snow, what should you do? The most important thing in this case is: communicate with your employer.

Working from home

If you can work at home, this is advisable in such a situation. Do you know the evening or day prior to your transport problem that a problem arises? Then contact your employer as soon as possible and present your situation. After all, it is of no use to him if you arrive two hours later due to the disrupted traffic.

Do you only realize that it is difficult to get to work on the day or morning itself? Then call your employer and discuss an action plan. If your employer indicates that you are needed for an important meeting, working from home is difficult. In such a case, it might be worth the delay. In any case, let your employer know what the situation is as soon as possible.

Tip: come up with a plan that you think is the best solution.

Adjust working hours

If you arrive late for work due to weather conditions or traffic problems, you do not have to make up for the missed work time. Of course you can make arrangements to move in the timetable that week if you cannot come to work at all.

Record holiday

Your employer may ask to take a day off because you, as an employee, are liable for commuting. If your employer himself starts talking about staying at home, it cannot cost you a day off.


Always check your collective labor agreement. Different rules may be included in the collective labor agreement for certain professions. For field staff, for example, the collective labor agreement may state what an employer / employee must do in the event of extreme weather conditions.

Have you done everything possible and you still can't? Then in most cases you could speak of force majeure. After all, you cannot do anything about the situation. In case of force majeure, the employer will have to continue to pay your wages for that day. He also cannot oblige you to take a day off.

In any case, it is important to talk to your employer. Preferably in advance, in order to avoid discussions afterwards. Make clear agreements and ensure that everything is recorded in writing.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us on 0345 - 851 963 or via

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