EMPLOYERS should be banned from docking the wages of staff who cannot make it to work due to severe weather conditions, a trade union has said.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is calling for a change in the law to ensure workers' wages and holiday entitlements are protected when severe weather renders going to work potentially unsafe.

The challenge to ministers will be put forward in a resolution to the youth conference of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) in Glasgow on June 30 and July 1.

The motion from the CWU says: “That this conference notes the severe weather at the start of the year named the ‘beast from the east’, which caused a number of major employers to either not pay their staff, or force staff members to use holiday entitlements, because they couldn’t attend work.

“It is noted how dangerous it was for many to attend work and that employers put pressure on staff to attend. Conference believes this is wrong."

Ministers should "change the law regarding workers’ safety" and put in place "a safeguarding of wages and holiday entitlements, when the weather is severe enough that a worker cannot attend”, it says.

Earlier this year, Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said it was "unacceptable" and "extremely disappointing" that some firms appeared to be docking staff wages during this year's heavy snow.

Yousaf was contacted by workers who said they were threatened with loss of pay after being unable to get into work.

Employees were forced to use holiday entitlements to avoid going to work despite the dangers posed by travelling, it was claimed.

The Scottish Government has held talks with the STUC about steps to protect the pay and holidays of workers.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Although employment law is reserved to the UK Government, we are using all the powers at our disposal to promote fair work and to tackle exploitation.

“During the severe weather earlier in the year, the majority of employers adopted a flexible approach to their workforce, however, we are aware of some workers experiencing unfair practices.

“That is why, following her meeting with the STUC in March, the First Minister announced that the Scottish Government will work collaboratively with the Scottish Trades Union Congress, public sector employers and business to develop a fair work charter focusing on the treatment of workers affected by severe weather."