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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 55164
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We are haulage contractors hauling only round timber from

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We are haulage contractors hauling only round timber from the forests, during very bad weather are vehicles are unable to get into the forests, do we have to pay the drivers if they cant work.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Are they employees or self employed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Anything in their contract allowing you to do this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
None of our drivers has a written contract word of mouth only.

Thanks and do they have a set number of hours or days they work or does it change week to week?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No set hours usually they do a full weeks work but we have no set min or max hours, if the vehicle has mechanical issues or we have no work we the pay them an eight hour day, but during the very bad weather the lorry's simply cant get into the forest which is in my view an act of the man in the sky and of which we have no control.

I understand that but their rights will depend on whether they have any guaranteed hours and what has historically happened when they have been unable to perform their duties.

If an employee cannot get in to work because of adverse weather, you would be in a string position to not pay them because they are unavailable for work.

However, if they are ready and willing to work, but you cannot provide them with any work be it due to adverse weather or other reasons, then you would really have a duty to pay them because it is not their fault that they cannot work. I know it is not your fault either but in these circumstances the employer would have to taker the ‘hit’ because the employees do have better rights. You would have to get insurance to cover you for such eventualities to cover the wages you may have to pay out.

You can see this here:

“If the workplace is closed because of disruption and the employee doesn’t usually work from home, employers can’t usually deduct pay.”

Also here:

“If employees are working from home, you must pay them their normal wages.

If an employee is unable to work because you have made the decision to close the premises, this will in effect be a period of lay-off.

You should pay your employees their normal wage, unless there is a contractual provision allowing for unpaid lay-off, or the employees agree to being laid off without pay.”

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

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