Weather Related Chaos: What to do as an Employer
So you’ve all heard the news reports and seen at least a few flakes of snow. With traffic chaos and travel disruption affecting large parts of the UK this week, as an employer, what should you be telling staff? Cecily Donoghue, employment solicitor at Gregg Latchams advises employers to put in place an adverse weather and travel policy.
The British weather can be wonderful but is also widely regarded as inconsistent and unpredictable. However it’s not always the cold or snowy weather that causes issues. We’re also seeing increasingly hot, dry summers as well as very wet weather and flooding. All of which can disrupt travel arrangements, working patterns and the normal office environment.
It’s therefore important to have an Adverse Weather and Travel Disruption Policy in place to cover all such eventualities.
The policy provides an important source of reference for managers who are asked queries by staff but also ensures that a consistent message is delivered to staff across the business. It also sets out the standards expected of staff so they understand what is expected of them.
The policy should cover:
- Where it becomes impossible or dangerous for employees to travel in to work due to extreme adverse weather, industrial action affecting transport networks and major incidents affecting travel or public safety;
- The expectation on staff to make a genuine effort to report for work on time;
- The importance of keeping line managers up to date and reporting whereabouts for remote workers;
- The potential for disciplinary action for staff who fail to contact their manager or are dishonest;
- Alternative working arrangements – if home working is possible;
- How absence will be treated and the implications for pay;
- When and how a closure of the workplace will be considered and communicated to staff;
- How staff should deal with school closures and childcare issues.
Stay safe and warm in this weather, but if you have any queries or issues arising from the snowy conditions please don’t hesitate to contact either Cecily Donoghue or Nick Jones in our Employment Team.