If an employee already has a disciplinary record for poor time keeping and is then late for work again due to the bad weather, should this episode of lateness count or be disregarded when considering whether to take further action?

Disciplinary action for poor time keeping is only appropriate if an employee is late for unacceptable reasons. Many, many employees will be late for work, if they turn up at all, when weather conditions deteriorate to the extent that we have seen recently. Also, as an employer we have a duty of care to our employees and making them “rush” to work in treacherous conditions is bound to be a breach of that duty. Our view would be that where the reason for lateness is the current weather conditions that is acceptable and therefore should not be used to instigate or escalate further disciplinary proceedings.