AS blizzards caused travel delays yesterday, a survey showed that more than half of UK employers do not pay their workers when bad weather prevents them getting to work.

Employment advice company Croner said that when severe weather hits, employers can be left counting the cost of lost productivity as employees fail to arrive.

A survey found that 52 per cent of bosses believed adverse weather was not grounds for additional paid leave.

With freak weather on the rise, Croner advised that although employers were within their rights to cut pay, they should be looking at ways to help staff continue their work and get paid.

Richard Smith, employment law expert at Croner, said: "Come rain, hail or shine, all staff have a contract with their employer to show up for work each day. Although not a legal requirement, having an adverse weather policy could help in certain situations to avoid conflict or confusion should an employee be late for work or fail to attend altogether.

"Employers can legally refuse to pay employees for any missed time, but before cutting pay, employers could consider options such as allowing employees to take the time as annual leave, providing home-working solutions or allowing them to make up the time lost. With the prevalence of laptops and e-mail, it is now much easier to enable employees, particularly those at managerial level, to continue to perform their duties without having to be on site.

"They could also consider the benefits of paid leave as a goodwill gesture to employees, which can help boost morale, motivation and loyalty. Forty-eight percent of employers we surveyed are already doing this."