Nurses have been advised to do their best to get to work during the current bad weather, but have been reminded that they should make their own safety a high priority.
The RCN has issued guidance for nurses that they should contact their local manager for advice on whether they should attempt to report for work and to check their local inclement weather policies.
The advice says that staff should make ‘every reasonable effort’ to get to work, but that they should also consider their personal safety and pay attention to local weather warnings and police advice.
Nurses may be expected to take annual leave or make up time at a later date if they cannot get into work because of the freezing weather, but the RCN suggests that staff ask if they can use time that is already owed to them, or take the time off as unpaid leave.
RCN head of employment relations Josie Irwin, said: “Employers should look at this in terms of goodwill and recognise the extra hours that healthcare staff work throughout the year without pay, which was seen in our recent RCN employment survey.
“There is no legal requirement to pay someone if they are unable to get into work, although there may be local policies that allow for this.”