HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

is-your-business-ready-for-winter

With winter just around the corner, you may want to think about how this can affect your business.

We wanted to take this opportunity to give you effective tips to avoid headache during the winter season.

Adverse Weather

It can be helpful to ensure your business has an adverse weather policy in place and that this is communicated with your staff.

If your employees’ normal mode of transport, or journey is compromised due to severe weather conditions, you should first encourage the employee to explore alternative means of safe transport.

You can look at offering employees alternative times to work to resolve this constraint. It can also be effective to explore the possibility of your employee working from home until the weather situation is resolved. If this is not a viable option for your business, it is important that you communicate with your employees that in the events that they are unable to attend work, this will be unpaid in these circumstances as you are under no obligation to pay employees for their lost hours.

Another option you can explore is that employees can request to take the time off as paid annual leave, or you can ask them to make up the lost hours at another time or at an alternative location.

Sickness

One of the biggest issues that businesses face during the winter period is the rise in employee sickness levels. The absence of your employee not only costs your business money, but it can also negatively impact productivity.

Think of ways you can be proactive during this period to avoid absence occurring. You can encourage healthier lifestyles starting with providing fruit at work. Communicating with your staff and ensuring they have a healthy work/life balance can be key when tackling this issue. You should also ensure that you have a robust sickness absence policy in place, so that employees know what to do when they are too ill to work.

You must have a conversation with your employees to set clear expectations around unacceptable absence levels and what happens if their attendance levels fall below standard process.

Return to work interviews are an important part of absence management, it’s your opportunity to ensure you understand what has caused your employee to be absent, and confirm expectations on their return to work. These interviews help you to collect a paper trail which you can refer back to if absence levels are unacceptable, allowing you to consider further action.

Company Vehicles  

Ensure your employees are aware of their responsibilities when driving company vehicles, taking into consideration dangerous road conditions due to the dark winter weather.

Company vehicle drivers must be aware of the responsibility they have to maintain company vehicles. They must regularly check tyres, oil, water, lights and other functions to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive in such conditions.

It’s always good to be prepared when driving in winter weather conditions. You may want to consider encouraging your employees to keep anti-freeze, blankets and snow shovels in their company vehicles in case of emergencies.

Work Place Premises

As a manager, it is important that you ensure car parks and pavements are well gritted to ensure you are helping to reduce the risk of work accidents.

If you would like any further guidance on how to tackle winter weather, please feel free to contact us now.