Winter is coming – are we prepared for the severe weather (if we get it!)?

Winter is coming – are we prepared for the severe weather (if we get it!)?

As is customary, as we enter into the later part of the year, talk is usually directed to our weather and preparing for the worst and of course if we are to have any snow…..

Whilst (thankfully) we do not tend to suffer from the extreme weathers seen across the world, nonetheless a change in weather can impact supply chain and our travelling to and from work. It therefore pays to spend a little time thinking about a contingency plan for the worse.

Safety considerations have to be a major consideration in addition to operational factors.

Checklist considerations

  • Staff travelling to work

Employees should make reasonable effort to get into work unless an agreement has been made in advance. If staff are late or unable to get to work (and work is open) this time may be unpaid, or you may allow employees to make the time up on hours lost or holidays to be taken. 

  • Workplace closure

If your place of work has to close completely, and unless there is a contractual right to be placed on unpaid lay off, your employees are entitled to be paid in full for hours that would have normally been worked. 

  • External factors

Associated circumstances may also impact such as childcare arrangements being disrupted by the weather. Emergency time off for dependants may be utilised and this is usually unpaid depending on your own company policy.  

  • Other options – working from home

Covid has allowed us to operate (where it is feasible) from home, and this arrangement works perfectly when there are weather related issues. Preparation to ensure that these arrangements can still be used, such as network connection and issue of hardware should the forecast be very bad. 

  • Safety measures may need to be enhanced

The safety of your staff is paramount throughout. Depending on what they do this may mean reviewing your risk assessments to make sure provisions are in place – such as if staff work outside, if they are drivers, if you rely on public transport or simply the safety on access an egress to your premises.

For guidance and support, from a severe weather policy or right to time off work for those with dependants, please feel free to contact me.

Until then all the best!

I Am Not Sure What Type Of Contract My Employees Should Be On?

I Am Not Sure What Type Of Contract My Employees Should Be On?

Planning who you need in the business is crucial.

Straightforward questions like:-

Can we afford to employ staff?

Number of staff?

For how long?

Can really will impact your bottom line if staff are not productive or are working excessive hours and attracting overtime payments.

Depending on the type of role you are looking to fill, thinking about the type of contract which should be put in place is vital.

Prior to entering into discussions regarding the contractual terms, (so before you have even interviewed….!), employers need to consider if they are looking to recruit a permanent or temporary employee.

Full time, part time, annualised or zero hour working,.

And whether there is anything about the role which may require a bespoke contract, for example, if you are recruiting an apprentice.

Considering your current staff and their contractual terms should also be considered within this process.

Examples of this might be:-

  • Are you paying the going rate/national living wage as an example?
  • Are you being fair to staff and paying equal pay for equal work carried out?  

Lastly, legislation changes and is updated regularly as case law is agreed.

Content of your contract is also an area that must be reviewed to ensure you are compliant.

As an example holiday payments are now calculated on a 52 week average and not 12 week.

And does your contract reflect this?

Contracts do not have to be cumbersome, but they do have to be compliant – if you need support I have over 20 years of HR experience you can tap into to ensure what you issue is fit for your business. 

Until then all the best!

Marie Speight


T: 01630 638580M:  07841 568637 , email:

What Do I Need To Think About When Managing Staff?

What Do I Need To Think About When Managing Staff?

Without good HR support you may find yourself missing key areas of managing your staff the right way.It’s all too easy to find yourself putting off managing staff issues

Aside from managing the day to day activities of staff carrying out the role they were employed to do, there are other areas, listed, that will need your attention.

  • Working time, holidays, and absence
  • Family friendly rights
  • Sickness absence and disability discrimination
  • Management of any disciplinary and grievance cases
  • Wages, benefits, bonuses and pensions
  • Employee performance  
  • Development and training
  • Data protection and GDPR
  • Health and Safety – ensuring staff are safe whilst working.

As mentioned earlier, having polices in place to manage these areas will ensure you are covered.

Including these policies in an Employee Handbook which accompanies the contract of employment will ensure that all staff fully understand what the rules are and what they need to know.

If you are wondering where to start when it comes to Managing People in your business, why not book a free consultation with me & I’ll be happy to offer you some of my 20+ years experience on the matter!

Until then, all the best!


Marie Speight