Absence of an employee due to bad weather: what are the rules?

Verified 23 November 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The rules differ depending on whether the employee works in the construction and public works sector or in another sector.

General case

The employee may be unable to go to work or arrive on time due to bad weather (storm, heavy snowfall...). We're talking about force majeure.

In such circumstances, the employer is not obliged to pay for the employee's absence. However, a collective agreement or agreement may provide for more favorable provisions on the maintenance of remuneration.

The amount deducted from the employee's pay must be strictly proportional to the duration of the absence.

To avoid or reduce the loss of wages, the employer has several options:

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Individual absence

To avoid a payroll deduction, the employer may propose, for example, one of the following solutions:

  • Perform absence hours at another time of the week
  • Allow the employee to take paid leave or, if so granted, reduced working hours (RTT) or compensatory rest linked to overtime
  • Use the teleworking

Collective interruption of work

In the event of a collective interruption of work, the employer may:

  • Have vacation hours performed at another time of the week
  • Allow the employee to take paid leave or, if so granted, reduced working hours (RTT) or compensatory rest linked to overtime
  • Use the teleworking
  • Recover lost hours within 12 months, after labor inspection has been informed
  • Apply partial activity


In the construction and public works (BTP) sector, the employer may decide to stop a construction site due to bad weather.

An employee who has stopped work due to bad weather may have his loss of wages compensated under certain conditions by compensation in the form of unemployment-bad weather.


an employee who is unable to go to work due to bad weather cannot be compensated by the unemployment-bad weather scheme.

Weather and flooding conditions that make it unsafe or impossible to work are considered inclement weather.

This impossibility may be linked to the health or safety of employees, but also to the nature or technique of the work to be performed.

All employees of companies who contribute to the unemployment-inclement weather scheme may be compensated irrespective of the amount and nature of their remuneration.

In order to be compensated, the employees must work on the construction site which has been stopped due to bad weather.

Temporary employees made available to a construction company are compensated by the temporary company of work.

This allowance is payable when the employees of the user company who work on the same site are paid on unemployment insurance.

Decision on the stoppage of work

Stopping work in the event of inclement weather shall be decided by the contractor or his representative on site after consultation of the Social and Economic Committee.

Where the work is carried out for an administration, a public authority, a licensed or subsidized service, the representative of the contracting authority may object to the stoppage of work.

Verification of the employee's entitlement to unemployment benefit

The employer must check in his records that the employee meets the conditions required to be entitled to the temporary allowances.

In particular, it must check that workers employed since the 1er January have worked 200 hours in the last 2 months.

In the case of other workers, he shall check the work certificates indicating the days for which compensation is due.

In addition, he had a statement signed on the number of days already compensated since 1 January for unemployment and bad weather. This declaration must be sent to the paid leave fund with the refund application.

Declaration of work stoppage

The employer sends the statement of work stoppage and request for reimbursement of allowances paid to employees to the paid leave fund.

The company shall forward to the Social and Economic Committee (ESC), at its request, the information on the schedule concerning the number of hours lost due to bad weather and their dates.

The slip must reach the paid leave fund within 1 month of the return to work.

Reporting of wages to the paid leave fund

Companies must report periodically and at least every 3 months to the paid leave fund.

This statement shall include, in particular, a statement of the wages and salaries used trim to the contribution.

Return to work

The date of resumption of work for the unemployed employee shall be decided by the employer or the supervisor's representative on the construction sites.

It is brought to the employee's attention by a notice posted at the headquarters or office of the company or at the entrance of the site.

Issuance of a certificate to the employee leaving the company

The employer shall issue a certificate to the employee who leaves the company.

It shall note, for the period of calendar year in progress during which he was employed in the company, the number of hours and the periods during which he received unemployment-bad weather.

Availability of employees

During periods of bad weather unemployment, the employee remains at the disposal of the company which employed him at the time of the stoppage of work throughout the period of inactivity of the construction site.

The employee loses his right to compensation if he refuses to carry out the work requested by his company, when this work can be carried out during the bad weather. This is particularly the case if the work can be done in a workshop or office.

The employer who employs the employee during the bad weather shall keep him for the duration of the work the salary he received before the stoppage of work due to the bad weather.

The hours thus paid shall be deducted from the hours of unemployment giving rise to compensation.

Provision of public authorities

Employees who have been arrested for bad weather may be made available by their company to public authorities for the purpose of carrying out work of general interest.

At the request of the municipality of the municipality of the site, the employer files the number of employees and their specialty whose activity is interrupted.

They are paid the salary for the work they have done.

An allowance equal to the difference between the salary used as the basis for calculating the weather allowance and the salary received for this occasional work may be added.

Return to work

The date of resumption of work shall be notified to the employee by means of a notice posted at the company's headquarters or office or at the entrance to the site.

An employee who does not return to work as soon as the work site reopens shall cease to be entitled to the allowance as from the date of such reopening.

Minimum duration of work performed

Employees may be entitled to a partial activity allowance if they have worked at least 200 hours in the 2 months preceding the work stoppage.

Waiting period

The daily weather allowance is due for each hour lost from the 2ndeme during the same week or during a continuous period of downtime.

Compensation Limits

The maximum number of hours of work that can be compensated is set at 9 hours per day up to a maximum of 45 hours per week.

The maximum number of daily allowances that may be paid in a calendar year shall be 55.

Calculation of the allowance

The compensation limit is set at 3/4 of salary.

The daily weather allowance is paid to the employee by his company on the regular pay date.

It is not due to the temporarily unfit employee.

Accident at work It does not overlap with the daily allowances of:

It does not add up to unemployment insurance.

It shall no longer be payable if the employee pursues another activity as an employed person during the period of cessation of work.

The company is reimbursed by the paid leave funds for the allowances paid to its employees.

The employer may not dismiss an employee during the period of inactivity of the work site on which he is employed.

This prohibition shall not apply in the event of serious misconduct on the part of the person concerned or in the event of stoppage of works by the supervisor at public works sites.