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Whilst snow might be one of the last things on your mind right now, it is the time of year where it could be a possibility and it’s always best to be prepared in order to minimise the disruption that it would have on the workplace.
The main disruption caused by snow is the ability of employees to actually get into the workplace, but managing these absences whilst still being able to operate as a business can be difficult, so here are some top things to consider:
· First, it’s worth remembering that it is your employee’s responsibility to both get into work and to do so on time, but you as the employer should ensure that no one is putting themselves in danger to do so
· If they are unable to make it in, then make it clear what they should do and who they should contact – this could be similar to your sickness procedure
· Are they able to work from home? If any employee can and is set up to work from home, then this could work for both sides to help keep the business operating
· If they are unable to make it into work and cannot work from home, then you do not have to pay them. However, you may wish to offer them the option of taking annual leave (if they have any remaining) instead of unpaid leave
· If schools are also closed, then this could leave employees with childcare issues. If this is the case and they are needing to be off work to look after their children, then this could be taken as unpaid emergency dependants leave
· The situation is outside of the employees’ control, so being understanding and compassionate can often lead to the best outcome on both sides
There is also a possibility that you as the employer will choose to close the workplace, such as if the heating breaks, there’s too much disruption to the service, or it’s too dangerous to open. Whilst these events are probably very unlikely, if this does arise, then you would need to pay your employees in full.
Even though this isn’t a situation that we find ourselves in very often, it is best to be prepared, and even have a policy (or a section in an existing policy) in place that details this information. If you are interested in putting together a policy and would like some support, or if you just have some queries on this, then we are happy to help. You can contact us either by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0117 970 2755.