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You could be fined for keeping your children home due to the snow

You could be fined for keeping your children home due to the snow

Schools across the country have been forced to close due to the bad weather

Plummeting temperatures and icy roads have forced some schools around the UK to close today (12 December).

With temperatures reaching -15C in Scotland, some roads unsafe to use and a bunch of train cancellations, getting out and about today is proving extremely difficult for many.

And across the country, headteachers have been informing parents that their children can stay at home due to the bad weather.

But what if your child's is one of the dwindling number of schools that is remaining open? Are you allowed to keep them home? And can you be fined for doing so?

Dozens of schools have been forced to close today.
Matthew Troke/Alamy

Well, the short answer is yes, you can be.

According to government rules, unexplained absences can see parents hit with financial penalties.

Local councils can dish out fines of £60 for each absence, with the figure rising to £120 if not paid within 21 days.

And if mums or dads don't pay up within 28 days, they could face prosecution, with a fine of up to £2,500 and three months behind bars.

This, however, is in the event that a child is taken out of school without any kind of explanation.

The chances are that if a parent speaks to the headteacher of the school and explains the situation, such as transport issues, then it can be sorted out there and then.

But it's not just children who are affected by the cold weather.

How cold is too cold for the office?
Antonio Guillem Fernández/Alamy

You might have headed into work this morning and found yourself sitting in a freezing office.

Cold offices are not the one, which is why there’s an entire section on the government website dedicated to ‘reasonable work temperatures’ in indoor places of work.

But what exactly is ‘reasonable’? Well, unfortunately, an open fire and cups of hot chocolate aren’t a government requirement.

That said, government guidance does specify a minimum work temperature.

Laws formed around health and safety at work clarify that not only must employers keep temperatures at a comfortable level, but they must also provide fresh, clean air.

Requirements for workplace temperatures are set by the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

Anyone not happy with their place of work’s heating is advised to speak to management or a union rep.

Featured Image Credit: Daniel Lewis/Bax Walker/Alamy