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Snow and Ice

Volume 505: debated on Friday 5 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the costs to his Department arising from the severe weather conditions in the period 4 January to 18 January 2010; and if he will make a statement. (313590)

In common with many other employers the Home Office recognised that the severe weather conditions during the period 4-18 January caused difficulty for many staff travelling to and from work.

Where staff experienced travel delays or were unable to get to work, line managers were reminded that they could use their discretion as to whether credit time should be given or whether annual leave, special leave or flexi-time should be used. The appropriate arrangements for individual staff were dependent upon local travel conditions, the availability of public transport and the length and difficulty of the journey into work. Many staff were also able to work from home thus reducing the amount of working time lost.

This guidance reflected existing departmental arrangements on travel disruptions set out in the staff handbook.

Records of the number of staff who were not able to attend work between 4-18 January as a result of the disruption to the transport system were not collated centrally and could therefore only be obtained at disproportionate cost. For the same reason it is not possible to provide an estimate of the cost to the Department or the total number of working hours that were lost.