In the event of bad weather causing you to close your business early or staff not being able to get into work do you have a Bad Weather Policy? What should you as an employer do if there is bad weather?
Preparing and circulating a Bad Weather Policy before bad weather arrives is a sensible way to support your business continuity planning process. It also lets your employees know what you expect of them.
Your Bad Weather Policy should state
- how you will communicate to your employees that the business is either not open for business due to bad weather overnight, or,
- that it is closing for the day because of bad weather that has occurred during the working day.
Include in your policy
- How you expect employees to communicate their absence due to bad weather
- What effort you expect employees to make to attend work
- Any flexible working options that you have available to enable people to work from home or flexibility in working hours. For example allow them to arrive later in the morning to allow road conditions to improve.
- Your position on employees using annual leave entitlement for the days that they cannot attend work
A couple of words of warning
- if bad weather means that your staff can’t get into work you may be within your rights to deduct pay. You must have a clause in your contracts of employment that permits you to take this action for not attending work. If you don’t, you may be vulnerable to a claim for “unlawful deduction from wages”.
- if you employ staff to drive on Company business you have a duty of care towards those individuals in bad weather. Take care to consider carefully any action that you take which may be interpreted as forcing an employee to drive in dangerous conditions.
Employers are expected to be reasonable in actions that they take. Dealing with the disruption and shared frustration of bad weather pragmatically is often the most effective course of action.
Do you need a Bad Weather Policy? Contact us now and we’ll send you a free no obligation copy.
Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565 332 to discuss how we may help you.