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!