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What happens when it's too hot or rainy to work?

Posted by Fair Work Ombudsman on 29 January 2019

Are you working outside in the heat or storms? Make sure you know the laws about working in inclement weather. 

Did you know there are laws about working in storms and heat? 

Inclement weather is when it's unsafe or unreasonable for you to work because of severe weather conditions. It can include: 

  • hail
  • high winds
  • severe dust storms
  • extreme cold or heat 

When inclement weather occurs you can't be asked to start or continue to work if it's unreasonable or unsafe to do so. If you're not able to perform any work because of the bad weather conditions and your employer send you home, you still have to be paid. 

You may still be asked to work during inclement weather when there is work: 

  • on other job sites not affected by weather 
  • That can be done inside

Check your award for: 

  • information on how to decide if the weather is inclement 
  • what to do when you have to work during bad weather 
  • extra wet weather procedures

Can my employer stand me down when it's too hot or stormy to work? 

Your employer may stand you down (send you home) if there's no useful work to be done because of a natural disaster (e.g. floods, bushfires, tropical cyclones). 

You won't be paid during a stand down. However, your employer can consider letting you: 

  • take a period of paid leave e.g. annual leave 
  • work at another location, e.g. from home or another work site

Find out more about inclement weather and whether you can be stood down on our Pay during stand down and severe weather page.

Natural disasters can cause devastation to communities as well as financial hardship- not only for your employer's business, but for individuals too. For information on what options you have available during this period check out our Employment conditions during natural disasters and emergencies fact sheet.

Author: Fair Work Ombudsman
Tags: Resources Consumer Information

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